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Full text of "The investigation of a friendly fire incident during the Persian Gulf War : hearing before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, June 29, 1995"

S. Hrg. 104-268 

THE INVESTIGATION OF A FRIENDLY FIRE 
INCIDENT DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR 



/ 4. G 74/9: S. HRG. 104-268 

[he Investigation of a Friendly Fir... 

tiriARING 

BEFORE THE 

PERMANENT 
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INVESTIGATIONS 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON 
GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS 
UNITED STATES SENATE 

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS 

FIRST SESSION 



JUNE 29, 1995 



Printed for the use of the Committee on Governmental Affairs 







JAN 2 a 1998 

-.. . ^ 







U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
92-t97CC WASHINGTON : 1995 

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office 

Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402 

ISBN 0-16-052096-7 



D 

S. Hrg. 104-268 

THE INVESTIGATION OF A FRIENDLY FIRE 
INCIDENT DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR 




Y 4. G 74/9: S. HRG. 104-268 



The Investigation of a Friendly Fir... 

HEARING 

BEFORE THE 

PERMANENT 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON INVESTIGATIONS 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON 
GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS 
UNITED STATES SENATE 

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS 

FIRST SESSION 



JUNE 29, 1995 




Printed for the use of the Committee on Governmental Affairs 

JA » 2 9 193S 

Olio, . n 




U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
92-^97 CC WASHINGTON : 1995 

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office 

Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402 

ISBN 0-16-052096-7 



COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS 

WILLIAM V. ROTH, Jr., Delaware, Chairman 

TED STEVENS, Alaska JOHN GLENN, Ohio 

WILLIAM S. COHEN, Maine SAM NUNN, Georgia 

FRED THOMPSON, Tennessee CARL LEVIN, Michigan 

THAD COCHRAN, Mississippi DAVID PRYOR, Arkansas 

CHARLES E. GRASSLEY, Iowa JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut 

JOHN MCCAIN, Arizona DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii 

BOB SMITH, New Hampshire BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota 

Franklin G. Polk, Staff Director and Chief Counsel 

Leonard Weiss, Minority Staff Director 

Michal Sue Prosser, Chief Clerk 



PERMANENT SUBCOMMITTEE ON INVESTIGATIONS 

WILLIAM V. ROTH, Jr., Delaware, Chairman 

TED STEVENS, Alaska SAM NUNN, Georgia 

WILLIAM S. COHEN, Maine JOHN GLENN, Ohio 

FRED THOMPSON, Tennessee CARL LEVIN, Michigan 

THAD COCHRAN, Mississippi DAVID PRYOR, Arkansas 

CHARLES E. GRASSLEY, Iowa . JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut 

JOHN McCAIN, Arizona DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii 

BOB SMITH, New Hampshire BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota 

Harold Damelin, Chief Counsel and Staff Director 

Daniel S. Gelber, Chief Counsel to the Minority 

Carla J. Martin, Chief Clerk 

(II) 

■ 



CONTENTS 



Opening statements: Page 

Senator Roth 1 

Senator Thompson 4 

Senator Grassley 7 

Prepared statement: 

Senator Nunn 71 

WITNESSES 

Thursday, June 29, 1995 

Richard C. Stiener, Director, Office of Special Investigations, U.S. General 

Accounting Office, accompanied by Barbara Cart and Randy Stone 9 

Kevin J. Wessels 18 

Bo H. Friesen 20 

Deborah J. Shelton and Ronald Fielder 29 

Lt. Col. John H. Daly, Jr., U.S. Army, accompanied by Lt. Col. Gerstenlauer, 

Regional Defense Counsel, U.S. Army Trial Defense Service 37 

Sara E. Lister, Assistant Secretary, Manpower and Reserve Affairs, U.S. 
Army, accompanied by General Ronald H. Griffith, Vice Chief of Staff, 
U.S. Army; and Maj. Gen. Michael Nardotti, The Judge Advocate General, 
U.S. Army 57 

Alphabetical List of Witnesses 

Daly, Lt. Col. John H. Jr.: 

Testimony 37 

Prepared statement 82 

Fielder, Ronald: 

Testimony 29 

Prepared statement 78 

Friesen, Bo H.: 

Testimony 20 

Prepared statement 76 

Lister, Sara E.: 

Testimony 57 

Prepared statement 83 

Shelton, Deborah J.: 

Testimony 29 

Prepared statement 78 

Stiener, Richard C: 

Testimony 9 

Prepared statement 72 

Wessels, Kevin J.: 

Testimony 18 

Prepared statement 75 

APPENDIX 
Prepared statements of witnesses in order of appearance 71 

(III) 



IV 

Page 

List of Exhibits 

1. Chronology of Events — 1991 chart, prepared by the Permanent Sub- 

committee on Investigations (PSI) 88 

2. Movement of Troops Prior to Fratricide chart, prepared by PSI 89 

3. Positions when Fatal Shots Fired chart, prepared by PSI 90 

4. Recommendation by Lieutenant Colonel John H. Daly, Jr., for the 

Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device to Patrick Joseph Venetia, 
dated March 6, 1991 91 

5. Electronic Form 638 Recommendation (including narrative) by Colonel 

Douglas H. Starr for the Bronze Star Medal to Lieutenant Colonel 
John H. Daly, Jr., dated March 1991 92 

6. Witness Statement by Major William C. Martin supporting the Bronze 

Star Medal Recommendation for Lieutenant Colonel John H. Daly, 

Jr., dated March 6, 1991 94 

7. Officer Evaluation Report (form DA 67-8) for Lieutenant Colonel John 

H. Daly, Jr., dated April 25, 1991 96 

8. Certificate awarding the Bronze Star Medal to Lieutenant Colonel John 

H. Daly, dated May 2, 1991 98 

9. Sworn statement (form DA 2823) of Lieutenant Colonel John H. Daly, 

Jr., dated May 3, 1991 99 

10. Sworn testimony (excerpted) of Lieutenant Colonel John H. Daly, Jr. 

from Army AR 15-6 investigation, dated November 7 and 20, 1991 101 

11. Sworn testimony (excerpted) of Lieutenant General Ronald H. Griffith 

from Army AR 15-6 investigation, dated January 21, 1992 112 

12. Sworn testimony (excerpted) of Colonel Douglas H. Starr from Army 

AR 15-6 investigation, dated March 5, 1992 114 

13. Memorandum of Admonition from General Edwin H. Burba, Jr. to 

First Lieutenant Kevin J. Wessels, dated April 14, 1992 117 

14. Memorandum of Reprimand from. General Edwin H. Burba, Jr. to Cap- 

tain Bodo H. Friesen, dated April 14, 1992 118 

15. Memorandum of Reprimand from General Edwin J. Burba, Jr. to Lieu- 

tenant Colonel John H. Daly, Jr., dated April 14, 1992 120 

16. Memorandum of Reprimand from General Edwin H. Burba, Jr. to Colo- 

nel Douglas H. Starr, Retired, dated April 14, 1992 122 

17. Memorandum from Colonel Douglas H. Starr, Retired, to General 

Edwin H. Burba, dated May 6, 1992, regarding his April 14, 1992 
Memorandum of Reprimand 124 

18. Memorandum from Lieutenant Colonel John H. Daly, Jr. to General 

Edwin H. Burba, Jr., dated May 26, 1992, regarding his April 14, 
1992 Memorandum of Reprimand 128 

19. Memorandum from Colonel Robert R. Ivany to General Edwin H. 

Burba, dated May 27, 1992, regarding Lieutenant Colonel Daly's 
April 14, 1992 Memorandum of Reprimand 132 

20. Memorandum from Lieutenant General Gary E. Luck to General Edwin 

H. Burba, dated June 4, 1992, regarding Lieutenant Colonel Daly's 
April 14, 1992 Memorandum of Reprimand 133 

21. Memorandum from Captain B. H. Friesen to General Edwin H. Burba, 

Jr., dated June 21, 1992, regarding his April 14, 1992 Memorandum 

of Reprimand 134 

22. Memorandum from General Edwin H. Burba, Jr. to Commander, Mili- 

tary District of Washington, dated July 22, 1992, regarding Lieuten- 
ant Colonel Daly's April 14, 1992 reprimand 139 

23. Memorandum from General Edwin H. Burba, Jr. to Captain B. H. 

Friesen, dated July 22, 1992, withdrawing April 14, 1992 Memoran- 
dum of Reprimand 140 

24. Memorandum from General Edwin H. Burba, Jr. to Colonel Douglas 

H. Starr, Retired, dated July 22, 1992, regarding April 14, 1992 
Memorandum of Reprimand 141 

25. Letter from General Edwin H. Burba, Jr. to Deborah J. Shelton, dated 

September 1, 1992 142 

26. Letter from Deborah J. Shelton to General Edwin H. Burba, Jr., dated 

September 14, 1992 144 



V 

Page 

27. Memorandum from Major General R. S. Siegfried, Deputy Inspector 

General, to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and 
Reserve Affairs (attn: Colonel Hamilton), dated August 4, 1992, re- 
garding revocation of valorous awards 146 

28. General Accounting Office (GAO) Report to The Honorable Fred Thomp- 

son, "Operation Desert Storm: Investigation of a U.S. Army Fratricide 
Incident," dated April 1995 (GAO/OSI 95-10) * 

29. Letter (with enclosures) from Karl F. Schneider, Legislative Counsel, 

Department of the Army, to Senator William V. Roth, Jr., dated 
June 15, 1995, enclosing various documents relating to awards re- 
ceived by the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and 54th Engineer 
Battalion * 

30. Letter from F. Pang, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, to 

Richard C. Steiner, Director, Office of Special Investigations, GAO, 
dated June 26, 1995, regarding recommendations made in the April 
1995 GAO report 160 

31. Certificate awarding the Soldiers Medal to Sergeant Douglas Lance 

Fielder, dated June 29, 1995 165 

32. Permanent Orders 180-11, dated June 29, 1995, revoking award of 

the Bronze Star Medal with "V" device to Sergeant Douglas L. Fielder 167 

33. Permanent Orders 180-10, dated June 29, 1995, awarding a Soldiers 

Medal (Posthumous) for heroism to Sergeant Douglas L. Fielder 168 

34. Permanent Orders 181—4, dated June 30, 1995, revoking award of the 

Bronze Star Medal to Lieutenant Colonel John H. Daly, Jr 169 

35. Letter from Senator William V. Roth, Jr. and Senator Fred Thompson 

to the Honorable Sara E. Lister, Assistant Secretary, Department 

of the Army, dated July 11, 1995 170 

36. Permanent Orders 194-1, dated July 13, 1995, revoking award of the 

Bronze Star Medal with "V" device to Colonel Douglas H. Starr 172 

37. Letter from Sara E. Lister, Assistant Secretary, Department of the 

Army, to Kevin J. Wessels, dated July 13, 1995 173 

38. Letter (without enclosures) from Sara E. Lister, Assistant Secretary, 

Department of the Army, to Senator William V. Roth, Jr., dated 

July 24, 1995 174 

39. Letter from Lieutenant Colonel James P. Gerstenlauer, Regional De- 

fense Counsel, to Harold Damelin, Permanent Subcommittee on In- 
vestigations, dated August 10, 1995 176 

40. Letter from Richard C. Stiener, GAO, to Senator William V. Roth, 

Jr., dated August 18, 1995 198 

41. Letter from Sara E. Lister, Assistant Secretary, Department of the 

Army,to Senator William V. Roth, Jr., dated August 28, 1995 199 

42. Letter from Sara E. Lister, Assistant Secretary, Department of the 

Army, to Senator Fred Thompson, dated August 28, 1995 200 

43. Letter (without enclosure) from Senator Fred Thompson to Togo D. 

West, Jr., Secretary, Department of the Army, dated September 20, 
1995 201 



* Retained in the files of the Subcommittee. 



THE INVESTIGATION OF A FRIENDLY FIRE 
INCIDENT DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR 



THURSDAY, JUNE 29, 1995 

U.S. Senate, 
Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, 
of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, 

Washington, DC. 

The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:08 a.m., in 
room 342, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. William V. Roth, 
Jr., Chairman of the Subcommittee, presiding. 

Present: Senators Roth, Thompson, and Grassley. 

Staff Present: Harold Damelin, Chief Counsel and Staff Director, 
Eric Thorson, Chief Investigator, Carla J. Martin, Chief Clerk, Sal- 
lie B. Cribbs, Executive Assistant, Christopher Greer, Investigator, 
Jack Cobb, Counsel, Michael Bopp, Counsel, Kathryn O'Connor, 
Receptionist, Suzanne Horner, Librarian, Daniel S. Gelber, Chief 
Counsel to the Minority, John Sopko, Deputy Chief Counsel to the 
Minority, Mary Robertson, Assistant Chief Clerk to the Minority, 
Alan Edelman, Minority Counsel, Mark Webster, Minority Inves- 
tigator, Scott Newton, Minority Investigator, Dale Cabiness (Sen- 
ator Stevens), Rick Valentine (Senator Smith), Charlie Murphy 
(Senator Grassley), Claudia McMurray (Senator Thompson), Jack 
Kennedy (Senator McCain), Janna Eaton (Senator Thompson), 
Cathy O'Brien (Senator Nunn), Julie Mickle (Senator Nunn), Han- 
nah Sistone (Senator Thompson), Bonnie Samsonetti (Senator 
Thompson), and Brian Dettelbach (Senator Glenn). 



OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN ROTH 

Chairman ROTH. The Subcommittee will please come to order. 

This morning, the Subcommittee will review a painful chapter in 
what was generally a proud moment in our Nation's history, Oper- 
ation Desert Storm. The war in the Persian Gulf is justifiably re- 
membered primarily for its successes. But no war is without its 
tragedies, and, sadly, today we are here to examine one such trag- 
edy — an unfortunate event compounded by a series of almost in- 
comprehensible missteps by the Army. 

In the early morning hours of February 27, 1991, in the Iraqi 
desert, a group of five American soldiers, engineers — from the 1st 
Armored Division's 54th Engineering Battalion — were waiting to be 
rescued after one of their vehicles had broken down. They were 
pulled off to the side of what was called the "log line" or logistics 
line. U.S. forces were known to be in that area. In fact, American 

(l) 



trucks had been passing within 50 feet of these soldiers most of the 
night. 

Yet, at approximately 3 a.m. that morning, rather than welcom- 
ing a rescue party, these American soldiers were fired upon by an- 
other group of American soldiers from the 3rd Armored Cavalry 
Regiment, who were in Abrams battle tanks and Bradley fighting 
vehicles. 

In the initial round of fire, one soldier was wounded in the leg. 
In a subsequent volley of fire, another soldier, Sergeant Lance 
Fielder, was shot in the chest and killed — a victim of what is iron- 
ically called "friendly fire." Both Sergeant Fielder and his parents 
have made the greatest sacrifice that our military forces can ask 
of a soldier and a soldier's family. 

Within 48 hours, the Army informed Sergeant Fielder's parents 
that their son had been killed. But the Army told his parents that 
Sergeant Fielder was killed in a firefight with Iraqi soldiers. It was 
not until 2 months later that his parents found out the truth about 
how their son had died. And the truth did not then come through 
official Army channels. Rather, in May of 1992, two of Sergeant 
Fielder's friends called the family to tell them the truth, that Ser- 
geant Lance Fielder had been killed by American forces who had 
mistaken Sergeant Fielder's small unit to be the enemy. 

It took the Army 6 months to officially notify Sergeant Fielder's 
parents of the true cause of their son's death. However, it took the 
Army only 2 months to award Bronze Stars with "V's to signify 
valor to members of the unit responsible for Sergeant Fielder's 
death. In fact, the Army awarded the medals on May 2, 1991, the 
same day — the same day — Sergeant Fielder's parents were finding 
out from their son's friends what they should have been told by the 
Army: that their son's death was due to friendly fire. 

The Army conducted several investigations of this tragic incident. 
The first two of these investigations found no wrongdoing on any- 
one's part. However, a third review found that three officers in the 
unit responsible for Sergeant Fielder's death had acted improperly. 
While the Army issued letters of reprimand to these three officers, 
two were not included in these officers' permanent personnel 
records, and the other letter was withdrawn. In fact, several sol- 
diers involved were promoted and decorated for this incident. In re- 
ceiving these medals, these soldiers were commended for "excep- 
tionally meritorious heroism in support of actions against a hostile 
force." 

The problem is, there was no hostile force. In fact, the evidence 
shows that the engineers whose vehicle had broken down never so 
much as fired a shot. Their commanding officer, Lieutenant Kevin 
Wessels, realizing all of his men could soon be killed, stood up with 
his hands raised and walked into the line of fire until he was fi- 
nally recognized as an American. The Army did not award Lieuten- 
ant Wessels the Bronze Star for his actions that night. Rather, the 
Army issued him a letter of admonishment, stating that he may 
have "indirectly contributed to this tragic incident." This letter is 
also part of this tragedy, as an admonishment certainly does not 
appear to be justified by the evidence provided to us by the Army. 

Our role here today is to determine the truth. Above all else, this 
country owes the family of Sergeant Fielder, and all families who 



suffer the loss of a son or daughter in military service, the absolute 
truth. This is the very bedrock of integrity within our military sys- 
tem. 

We are here because serious questions exist concerning the ade- 
quacy of the Army's investigation of this matter. We question: why 
it took the Army 6 months to tell Sergeant Fielder's parents the 
true story of how their son died; why, within 4 days of this tragic 
incident, recommendations were forthcoming for bravery and med- 
als of valor; why some of those involved were promoted, despite evi- 
dence of wrongdoing; and why was it that, only after significant 
Congressional interest, the medals were finally withdrawn. 

We are also here to establish accountability. Accountability is the 
basis for our military command and control structure. The case we 
are dealing with today involves the ultimate in accountability — ac- 
countability for the lives of our Nation's military men and women 
who we dispatch to the far corners of the world to defend our Na- 
tion and what we stand for. 

I want to thank the family of Sergeant Fielder for their persist- 
ence and for their patience. I know that it has been a long, hard 
road to this hearing. 

[The prepared statement of Senator Roth follows:] 

PREPARED STATEMENT OF WILLIAM V. ROTH 

The Subcommittee will come to order. This morning, the Subcommittee will re- 
view a painful chapter in what was generally a proud moment in our nation's his- 
tory—Operation Desert Storm. The war in the Persian Gulf is justifiably remem- 
bered primarily for its successes. But no war is without its tragedies. Sadly, today 
we are here to examine one such tragedy — an unfortunate incident compounded by 
a series of almost incomprehensible missteps by the Army. 

In the early morning hours of February 27, 1991, in the Iraqi desert, a group of 
five American soldiers — engineers from the First Armored Division's 54th Engineer- 
ing Battalion — were waiting to be rescued after one of their vehicles had broken 
down. They were pulled off to the side of what was called the "log line" or logistics 
line. U.S. forces were known to be in that area. In fact, American trucks had been 
passing within 50 feet of these soldiers most of the night. 

Yet, at approximately three o'clock that morning, rather than welcoming a rescue 
party, these American soldiers were fired upon by another group of American sol- 
diers from the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment, who were in Abram Battle Tanks 
and Bradley Fighting Vehicles. 

In the initial round of fire, one soldier was wounded in the leg. In a subsequent 
volley of fire, another soldier, Sergeant Lance Fielder, was shot in the chest and 
killed — the victim of what is ironically termed, "friendly fire." Both Sergeant Field- 
er, and his parents, have made the greatest sacrifice that our military forces can 
ask of a soldier and a soldier's family. 

Within 48 hours, the Army informed Sergeant Fielder's parents that their son had 
been killed. But the Army told his parents that Sergeant Fielder was killed in a 
fire fight with Iraqi soldiers. It was not until two months later that his parents 
found out the truth about how their son had died. And the truth did not then come 
through official Army channels. 

Rather, in May of 1991, two of Sergeant Fielder's friends called the family to tell 
them the truth — that Sergeant Lance Fielder had been killed by American forces, 
who had mistaken Sergeant Fielder's small unit to be the enemy. 

It took the Army six months to officially notify Sergeant Fielder's parents of the 
true cause of their son's death. However, it took the Army only two months to award 
Bronze Stars with "Vs" to signify valor to members of the unit responsible for Ser- 
geant Fielder's death. In fact, the Army awarded the medals on May 2, 1991, the 
same day Sergeant Fielder's parents were finding out from their son's friends what 
they should have been told by the Army — that their son's death was due to "friendly 
fire." 

The Army conducted several investigations of this tragic incident. The first two 
of these investigations found no wrongdoing on anyone's part. However, a third re- 



view found that three officers in the unit responsible for Sergeant Fielder's death 
had acted improperly. While the Army issued letters of reprimand to these three 
officers, two were not included in these officers' permanent personnel records and 
the other letter was withdrawn. In fact, several soldiers involved were promoted and 
decorated for this incident. In receiving their medals, these soldiers were com- 
mended for "exceptionally meritorious heroism in support of actions against a hos- 
tile force." 

The problem is there was no hostile force. In fact the evidence shows that the en- 
gineers, whose vehicle had broken down, never so much as fired a shot. Their com- 
manding officer, Lieutenant Kevin Wessels, realizing all of his men could soon be 
killed, stood up with his hands raised, and walked into the line of fire until he was 
finally recognized as an American. The Army did not award Lieutenant Wessels the 
Bronze Star for his actions that night. Rather, the Army issued him a letter of ad- 
monishment, stating that he may have "indirectly contributed to this tragic inci- 
dent." That letter is also part of this tragedy, as an admonishment certainly does 
not appear to be justified by the evidence provided to us by the Army. 

Our role here today is to determine the truth. Above all else, this country owes 
the family of Sergeant Fielder, and all families who suffer the loss of a son or 
daughter in military service, the absolute truth. This is the very bedrock of integrity 
within our military system. 

We are here because serious questions exist concerning the adequacy of the 
Army's investigation of this matter. We question: 

• why, within four days of this tragic incident, recommendations were forthcom- 
ing for bravery and medals of valor; 

• why it took the Army six months to tell Sergeant Fielder's parents the true 
story of how their son died; 

• why some of those involved were promoted, despite evidence of wrongdoing; 
and 

• why was it that, only after significant Congressional interest, the medals 
were finally withdrawn. 

We are also here to establish accountability. Accountability is the basis for our 
military's command and control structure. The case we are dealing with today in- 
volves the ultimate in accountability — accountability for the lives of our nation's 
military men and women who we dispatch to the far corners of the world to defend 
our nation and what we stand for. 

I want to thank the family of Sergeant Fielder for their persistence, and their pa- 
tience. I know that it has been a long, hard road to this hearing. 

I now turn over the gavel to Senator Fred Thompson. Fred has been pursuing this 
matter diligently for months, and has provided the force and motivation behind the 
General Accounting Office's excellent investigative report. 

Because of Senator Thompson's hard work and great concern about this issue, and 
because Sergeant Fielder was a native of Tennessee, I have asked Senator Thomp- 
son to chair today's hearing. I want to thank Senator Thompson for his leadership 
in bringing this matter to the attention of the Senate and of the American people. 

Senator ROTH. I shall now turn over the gavel to Senator Fred 
Thompson. Fred has been pursuing this matter diligently for 
months and has provided the force and motivation behind the Gen- 
eral Accounting Office's excellent investigative report. 

Because of Senator Thompson's hard work and great concern 
about this issue, and because Sergeant Fielder was a native of Ten- 
nessee, I have asked Senator Thompson to chair today's hearing. 
I want to thank Senator Thompson for his leadership in bringing 
this matter to the attention of the Senate and of the American peo- 
ple. Fred. 

OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR THOMPSON 

Senator THOMPSON [presiding] . Thank you very much, Chairman 
Roth, for offering me the opportunity to preside over this important 
hearing. I also want to thank you for acceding to my request and 
authorizing the Subcommittee to conduct an investigation into this 
tragic incident, the so-called friendly fire case that happened in the 
closing days of the Persian Gulf War. 



Today, we will examine the circumstances surrounding the death 
of a fine soldier and a young Tennessean, Sergeant Lance Fielder. 
We will hear testimony concerning both the circumstances under 
which Sergeant Fielder died and what happened or did not happen 
in the aftermath of his death. 

This Subcommittee does not and should not normally look into 
the operations of the military during wartime. We do not and 
should not regularly assume the role of Monday morning quarter- 
back, to second-guess the decisions made by our Nation's military 
in the heat of combat. 

Having said that, though, the facts as we understand them in 
this case so far cry out for us to make an inquiry into this case. 
In this Subcommittee's investigation, we have learned not just that 
mistakes occurred to bring about Sergeant Fielder's death, mis- 
takes that appear to have been clearly avoidable, we have also 
learned that the tragedy was compounded when the Army failed to 
investigate the incident properly, initially notified the family that 
their son had been killed by Iraqis, and awarded medals to those 
responsible for the accident. 

The first thing we have to ask ourselves is what we hope this 
hearing will accomplish. My focus today, as it has been since I first 
became aware of this case, is on two questions. First and foremost, 
what are the true facts as to how Sergeant Fielder was killed and 
what happened afterwards? And secondly, what can we learn from 
what happened to prevent situations like this from occurring in the 
future? 

There are a number of reasons why this search for the truth is 
important. We cannot restore a son in the prime of his life to Ser- 
geant Fielder's parents. However, we owe his mother and his father 
and the rest of his family an honest and factual, correct account 
of how he lost his life in the service of his country. 

Sergeant Fielder's parents have spent over 4 years pursuing the 
truth and are still waiting to learn exactly what led to their son's 
death and why it took so long for them to hear the words "friendly 
fire", and why those who participated in the incident were awarded 
with medals for valor. 

We must also get to the bottom of this incident and its aftermath 
to assure that both the appropriate individuals and institutions are 
held accountable for what occurred. If the Army does not face the 
facts of this situation squarely and take responsibility, then it will 
lose the confidence of all Americans. 

If this hearing results in some changes in Army procedures for 
investigating those incidents that can bring the truth to the surface 
rapidly, this investigation and this hearing will have been a suc- 
cess. Moreover, the confidence that Americans, including other par- 
ents who send their sons and daughters to future combat posts, 
have in our Army will have been vindicated. In addition, it is my 
hope that we can preserve the importance and value of the medals 
rightfully earned by so many brave soldiers by making sure that 
all medals are supported by true statements and actually based on 
acts of merit and valor. 

This hearing is not an effort by Congress to criticize the Army 
in an unfair way. Let me make clear to everyone who is participat- 
ing in this hearing room or may be watching it that my purpose 



is just the opposite. I hope that this investigation will result in a 
stronger United States Army. 

I think that the men in Sergeant Fielder's unit who had the cour- 
age to go to Sergeant Fielder's parents with the truth, and, indeed, 
every soldier who has earned the Bronze Star, would share my 
hope for this investigation and today's hearing. 

PREPARED STATEMENT OF SENATOR FRED THOMPSON 

Thank you, Chairman Roth, for offering me the opportunity to preside over this 
important hearing. I also want to thank you for authorizing this subcommittee to 
conduct at my request an investigation into this tragic incident of so-called "friendly 
fire" in the closing days of the Persian Gulf War. 

Today, we will examine the circumstances surrounding the death of a fine soldier 
and young Tennessean, Sergeant Lance Fielder. We will hear testimony concerning 
both the circumstances under which Sergeant Fielder died, and what happened — 
or did not happen — in the aftermath of his death. 

This Subcommittee does not — and should not — normally look into the operations 
of the military during wartime. We do not — and should not — regularly assume the 
role of "Monday Morning Quarterback" to second guess the decisions made by our 
nation's military in the heat of combat. 

Having said that, the facts as we understand them so far cry out for us to make 
an inquiry into this case. From this investigation, we have learned not just that 
mistakes occurred to bring about Sergeant Fielder's death — mistakes that appear to 
have been clearly avoidable. We also have learned that the tragedy was compounded 
by the failure to investigate the incident properly, by initially notifying the family 
that their son had been killed by Iraqis, and by awarding medals to those respon- 
sible for the accident. 

The first thing we have to ask ourselves is what we hope this hearing will accom- 
plish. My focus today, as it has been since I first became aware of the Fielder case, 
is on two questions: 

First, and foremost, what are the true facts of how Sergeant Fielder was killed 
and what followed afterwards? and, 

Second, what can we learn from what happened to prevent situations like this 
from occurring in the future? 

There are a number of reasons why this search for the truth is important. We 
cannot restore a son in the prime of his life to Sergeant Fielder's parents. However, 
we owe his mother, father, and the rest of his family an honest and factually correct 
account of how he lost his life in the service of his country. 

Sergeant Fielder's parents have spent over four years pursuing the truth, and are 
still waiting to learn exactly what led to their son's death, why it took so long for 
them to hear the words "friendly fire," and why those who participated in the inci- 
dent were awarded with medals for valor. 

We must also get to the bottom of this incident and its aftermath to assure that 
someone is held accountable for what occurred. If the Army does not face the facts 
of this situation squarely and take responsibility, then it will lose the confidence of 
all Americans. 

If this hearing results in some change in Army procedures for investigating these 
incidents that can bring the truth to the surface rapidly, this hearing will have been 
a success. Moreover, the confidence that Americans — including other parents who 
send their sons and daughters to future combat posts — have in our Army will have 
been vindicated. 

In addition, it is my hope that we can preserve the importance and value of the 
medals rightfully earned by so many brave soldiers by making sure that all medals 
are supported by true statements and based on acts of merit and valor. 

This hearing is not an effort by Congress to criticize the Army in an unfair way. 
Let me make clear to everyone who is participating in this hearing — or who may 
be watching it — that my purpose is just the opposite. I hope that this investigation 
will result in a stronger United States Army. 

I think that the men in Sergeant Fielder's unit who had the courage to go to 
Fielder's parents with the truth, and indeed, every soldier who has earned the 
Bronze Star, would share my hope for this investigation and today's hearing. 

Senator Thompson. Senator Grassley? 



OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR GRASSLEY 

Senator GRASSLEY. On most everything that I work on in the De- 
fense Department, I find that there is a great deal of peer pressure 
to go along to get along, and I think this is one of those examples 
that you can see, that nobody wants to rock the boat. If we are 
going to get answers to questions, you cannot be afraid to rock the 
boat, and I thank Senator Thompson and Senator Roth for their 
leadership in this area. I think that they and their staffs have done 
an outstanding job. 

We have a terrible accident that has to be put under the micro- 
scope, an accident where American soldiers accidentally killed and 
wounded other American soldiers. I think you, Mr. Chairman, have 
laid out for us under the microscope a slide for all of us to see. Now 
we need to try to understand what all this means. 

The work done by these Senators and their staffs are helping to 
clear away the fog, and I do not think we see a very pretty picture. 
A penetrating analysis has exposed the Army's inner soul to exam- 
ination. I am not happy with what I see in this case. The Army's 
conscience seems to be numb, like it took a massive dose of Novo- 
caine. The Army's leadership seems unable to distinguish between 
right and wrong, and leadership that cannot distinguish between 
right and wrong lacks integrity. To me, this appears to be a case 
of organized lying, lying by the Army. Others may see it dif- 
ferently, but this is how I see it. 

There is no disagreement about what happened in the Iraqi 
desert during that early morning hour described by Senator Roth. 
Accidents on battlefields are unfortunate, but they do happen. The 
risk is understood and the risk is accepted. It is what happened 
after the accident that is dirty and corrupt. I see a string of lies. 

First, I see the Army lying to a dead soldier's family. The Army 
told the parents that their son was killed in a firefight with Iraqi 
soldiers when the Army knew full well that he was killed by Amer- 
ican soldiers. 

Next, I see Army officers lying to each other and their superiors 
about heroic deeds, which were never done, in the face of hostile 
force, which did not exist. 

Third, I see reverse accountability, and reverse accountability is 
where the culprits get rewards and promotions and the heroes get 
punished. The Army punished the one person most responsible for 
saving the lives and bringing the accidental gunfire to a halt. This 
person is Lieutenant Kevin Wessels. What he did was done at 
great personal risk to himself. He deserves a medal for heroism. 
His punishment is fraudulent. 

More senior American officers tried to evade responsibility by 
blaming Wessels. It is the same old story you hear so often. The 
good guys get hammered; the culprits get promoted. Too often, that 
is the way the Pentagon does things, because it is easier to go 
along to get along. 

The two people most responsible for the accidents are Colonel 
Douglas Starr and Lieutenant Colonel John H. Daly, Jr. Starr was 
promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and Daly's promotion to 
Colonel is currently pending. 

Next, we have Army investigations that failed to uncover the 
truth. 



8 

Mr. Chairman, I know that these are harsh words. These things 
are very difficult to say, but that is what the evidence shows, and 
what the evidence shows is a disgrace. The military has a way of 
turning the code of ethics upside down, and this accident was no 
isolated case. It is part of a destructive pattern that I see every 
time we probe deeply into military disasters. 

The accident involving the U.S. Navy Aegis crusier, the U.S.S. 
Vincennes is similar to this incident. The Vincennes accidentally 
shot down an Iranian airliner, killing 290 people. The ship thought 
that it was firing on hostile Iranian F- 14 jets. Who was held ac- 
countable for this tragedy? No one. 

Many of the people involved were rewarded. The ship's captain 
and a number of officers in the Combat Information Center where 
the decision to fire was set up received medals and promotions. The 
only one to pay the price for this colossal error may be those who 
went down with Pan Am 103, because there is evidence that the 
Iranians were going to avenge the downing of their airliner 
through that act. 

More recently, we had the tragic accident where two U.S. F-15 
fighters shot down two U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopters over 
Northern Iraq. They mistook the Blackhawks for Iraqi Hind heli- 
copters — even though they made visual identification. Twenty-six 
people died. No one is accountable, no one is responsible. 

So, Mr. Chairman, the military seems unable to deal with these 
accidents in an honest and a forthright manner, and I am so afraid 
that this kind of dishonest behavior will eventually destroy the 
Army, as you fear, Senator Thompson. Honesty is a cornerstone of 
leadership. That is what the Army's own leadership manual says. 
That is not what Chuck Grassley says. 

The Army cannot function effectively without top-notch leader- 
ship. The Army will need first-rate leadership to win a large-scale 
war in the future, where our will and our power are really put to 
the supreme test, but Army leaders who set a bad example, like in 
the case before the Subcommittee today, will have no followers 
when this type of thing goes on and the going really gets tough. 

Dishonest behavior like that undermines trust among the officers 
and between the officers and the enlisted men. It will send a ter- 
rible signal to the rest of the Army. It undermines discipline and 
morale throughout the Army. 

This Committee, Mr. Chairman, must do everything within its 
power to undo what has been done as a result of the accident. We 
need honest and just accountability. We need to turn things right- 
side up. We need to do everything in our power to block the pend- 
ing promotion of Lieutenant Colonel John H. Daly. 

We need to do everything in our power to make sure that First 
Lieutenant Kevin Wessels is properly rewarded for his heroic ac- 
tion on February 27, 1991. Arid, we should do everything in our 
power to make sure that the Army removes the letter of admonish- 
ment placed in Lieutenant Wessels' personnel file. 

I would like to work with you, Senator Thompson, and Chairman 
Roth to make sure that these things happen. 

Senator Thompson. Thank you very much, Senator Grassley. 

Our first witness this morning will be Richard C. Stiener. Mr. 
Stiener is the Director of the Office of Special Investigations for the 



General Accounting Office. Mr. Stiener will present the results of 
the GAO's investigation of this matter. 

Mr. Stiener, we appreciate your being here this morning. As you 
know, we swear in all witnesses who appear before this Sub- 
committee and I will now ask you to rise and raise your right hand. 

Do you swear that the testimony you will give before this Sub- 
committee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the 
truth, so help you, God? 

Mr. Stiener. I do. 

Senator THOMPSON. Thank you. Would you identify for the record 
the people who are accompanying you, Mr. Stiener? 

Mr. Stiener. Yes, sir. I have with me today Assistant Director 
Barbara Cart, who is in charge of the unit responsible for this in- 
vestigation. Also with me is Special Agent Randy Stone, who was 
the lead investigator for our effort. 

Senator Thompson. We are pleased to have you with us. 

Do you have a statement, Mr. Stiener? 

Mr. Stiener. Yes sir, I do. I would like to, with your permission, 
submit that statement for the record and, in the interest of time, 
summarize for the hearing this morning. 

Senator THOMPSON. That will be done. Thank you. 

TESTIMONY OF RICHARD C. STIENER, 1 DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF 
SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS, UNITED STATES GENERAL AC- 
COUNTING OFFICE; ACCOMPANIED BY BARBARA CART AND 
RANDY STONE, UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OF- 
FICE 

Mr. STIENER. Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, 
we are pleased to be here today to discuss our April 1995 report 
concerning our investigation of events leading to a fratricide inci- 
dent during the Persian Gulf War. We also assessed the adequacy 
of U.S. Army investigations following the incident and investigated 
allegations that Army officials hindered those investigations or in- 
fluenced their outcome. 

The fratricide involved engineers attached to the Army's 1st Ar- 
mored or 1st AD and elements of the Army's 3rd Armored Cavalry 
Regiment, or the 3rd ACR. One U.S. soldier, Army Sergeant Doug- 
las Lance Fielder, was unintentionally killed. A second, Sergeant 
James E. Napier, was wounded. 

I would now like to discuss the events surrounding the incident. 
On August 2, 1990, Iraqi military forces invaded the Emirate of 
Kuwait. They refused to withdraw by the United Nations-imposed 
deadline of midnight, Eastern Standard Time, January 15, 1991. 

U.S. and allied forces thus implemented Operation Desert Storm 
on January 17, 1991, beginning with an extensive air campaign. 
The ground war began on February 24, 1991, and ended February 
28, 1991, when allied commanders declared a cease fire. 

At approximately 2:30 a.m. Persian Gulf Time on February 27, 
1991, near Umm Hajul, Iraq, elements of the 3rd ACR, while at- 
tacking an Iraqi airfield, crossed a U.S. Army Corps boundary line 
into a sector known to be controlled by the 1st AD. According to 
the I Troop Commander of the 3rd Squadron, Captain Bo Friesen, 



1 The prepared statement of Mr. Stiener appears on page 72. 



10 

he initially ordered the gunner of his Abrams main battle tank to 
fire warning shots away from suspected Iraqi ground troops. 

Those troops were instead the engineers of Charlie Company who 
were awaiting recovery of their disabled vehicle. The two engineers 
who were observing the 3rd Squadron's vehicles stated that they 
attempted to identify themselves before and after they were fired 
upon and they saw no warning shots. They claimed the first shots 
were fired directly at them. 

Immediately on firing the warning shots, Captain Friesen's tank 
driver and gunner reported return fire from the engineers' position, 
a claim the engineers and other 3rd Squadron troops dispute. Cap- 
tain Friesen ordered his gunner and two Bradley fighting vehicles 
to fire. A cease fire was then called. Sergeant Napier was wounded 
during this firing sequence. 

While I Troop elements were developing and engaging the tar- 
gets, the 3rd Squadron Commander, Lieutenant Colonel John H. 
Daly, Jr., moved into the engagement area. Once at the scene, he 
did not ask for Captain Friesen's assessment of the situation, 
which at that point appeared to the Captain to be under control. 
In addition, when one of two troops riding in Lieutenant Colonel 
Daly's Bradley asked to dismount in order to confront the sus- 
pected Iraqi troops, Lieutenant Colonel Daly dismounted the two 
without coordinating his actions with Captain Friesen or any of his 
subordinate units. This dangerously exposed the dismounts to the 
risk of fratricide. 

Further, relying on his Bradley gunner's assessment, Lieutenant 
Colonel Daly ordered his gunner to fire at an unconfirmed target. 
Sergeant Fielder was killed during this firing sequence. Seconds 
before the Bradley gunner fired, First Lieutenant Kevin Wessels, 
the engineers' Executive Officer, had fired a green star cluster to 
illuminate the area. Unknown to the Lieutenant at the time, a 
green star cluster was a daytime ground-to-ground anti-fratricide 
recognition signal. 

We estimate that the time between the first shots and the fatal 
shots was 7 minutes, 15 seconds. We also estimate that 25 minutes 
elapsed between when I Troop, 3rd Squadron, first misidentified 
the engineers and their identification as U.S. troops. 

Among the critical factors resulting in the fratricide were the 3rd 
ACR's Operation Plan and Operation Order for the February 27, 
1991, mission. They were incomplete and contained contradictory, 
outdated intelligence information about enemy presence. Further, 
coordination between the VII Corps and the XVIII Airborne Corps 
along the boundary had disintegrated. In addition, maps used by 
the 3rd ACR commanders and troops in preparation for the mission 
were outdated and did not accurately depict the 3rd ACR's objec- 
tive. Communications failures from the 3rd ACR through the 
squadrons to the troops also contributed to the confusion leading 
to the incident. 

However, of greater consequence, both the 3rd ACR Commander, 
Colonel Douglas Starr, and the 3rd Squadron Commander, Lieuten- 
ant Colonel Daly, failed to maintain command and control of their 
subordinate units. They did not ensure subordinates' knowledge of 
their southern boundary, past which they knew friendly forces 
might be located. They did not determine their and their units' po- 



11 

sitions relative to the boundary. Furthermore, Lieutenant Colonel 
Daly did not abide by the stated rules of engagement, which were 
not to fire unless fired upon and not to fire below the boundary. 

Mr. Chairman, we found the AR-15 investigation to be incom- 
plete and inaccurate. Among other shortcomings, both investigating 
officers overlooked numerous documents and other information, in- 
cluding an audiotape recording of the incident that we located. 
They did not elicit evidence that some 3rd Squadron personnel, in- 
cluding crew members aboard the 3rd Squadron Commander's 
Bradley, had recognized U.S. vehicles before the fatal shots were 
fired. 

Both misstated facts, such as that the engineers were not wear- 
ing Kevlar helmets or load bearing equipment that would have 
aided identification. Neither investigating officer attempted to con- 
firm statements concerning return fire. Neither investigators' con- 
clusions and recommendations, which absolved all participants of 
any responsibility, were supported by the evidence available. 

Later, a Forces Command Staff Judge Advocate, at the direction 
of the Commander in Chief, Headquarters Forces Command, per- 
formed a legal review and analysis of the report of investigation. 
He stated to us it was his supposition that the second investigating 
officer had skewed objectivity and a predetermined conclusion con- 
cerning the case. 

This coincides with the results of recent GAO and Department 
of Defense studies that question the independence of command-di- 
rected investigations. That type of an investigation, according to 
the 1994 DOD study, is most subject to abuse and the investigators 
who conduct them are more subject to command influence. 

The Forces Command Staff Judge Advocate recommended revers- 
ing the two investigating officers' findings, noting among other 
failings the involved 3rd ACR officers' negligent actions that placed 
their soldiers at risk and their dereliction of duty for assuming that 
personnel in a rear area were enemy. 

Based on his recommendations, three 3rd ACR officers were is- 
sued letters of reprimand and the engineer's Executive Officer was 
issued a memorandum of admonition. After those reprimanded re- 
plied to the reprimands, the Commander in Chief, Forces Com- 
mand, General Edwin H. Burba, at his discretion, directed that two 
reprimands not be made part of the officers' permanent military 
files and that the third be withdrawn. 

During our investigation, we learned that heroism awards relat- 
ed directly to the fratricide incident had been given to three officers 
and several men of the 3rd ACR. These awards were based on mis- 
leading statements and misrepresentations made by the 3rd ACR 
Commander, Colonel Starr, and the 3rd Squadron Commander, 
Lieutenant Colonel Daly. Award support documents for the officers 
referred to enemy presence and hostile fire during the fratricide in- 
cident. Two of the awards indicated the actions had occurred at an 
airfield about 28 kilometers from the incident cite. 

In May 1994, we briefed the Army on our investigative findings, 
including those concerning the heroism awards. Following that 
briefing, the Army Office of Inspector General analyzed the awards. 
In August 1994, the Army OIG requested the Assistant Secretary 
of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs to revoke the 



12 

awards as the "award recommendations revealed that they were 
not in contact with an armed enemy." 

Even though the Army OIG recommended the revocation of the 
awards, it indicated that it had found "no evidence that any indi- 
vidual falsified information in the awards recommendations." How- 
ever, we have found that several of the support documents justify- 
ing the awards contain misleading statements and misrepresenta- 
tions that were submitted by those directly involved in the frat- 
ricide incident. 

In our April 1995 report, we recommended that the Secretary of 
the Army first reexamine for their appropriateness the disciplinary 
actions taken regarding this fratricide incident and the disposition 
of those actions, and second, follow up on the Army OIG request 
that improperly supported awards for participation in fratricide in- 
cidents be revoked. 

On June 27, 1995, too late to include in our printed statement 
for today, we received official comments from the Department of 
Defense concurring with these recommendations. The Army antici- 
pates that it will complete its review of the appropriateness of the 
disciplinary action by September 1, 1995. In addition, the Secretary 
of the Army has revoked the initial and subsequent awards for the 
fratricide incident, pending further review, and the Army is review- 
ing all awards received by soldiers involved in fratricide incidents 
during Desert Shield and Desert Storm to determine their propri- 
ety. 

Further, the Department of Defense advised us that, as a result 
of our investigation and other lessons learned, the Army is review- 
ing the overall AR 15-6 investigative process. 

This completes my prepared remarks, sir, or my summation. We 
would now welcome any comments or questions. 

Senator THOMPSON. Thank you very much, Mr. Stiener. 

You have referred to the 3rd ACR, which, of course, is the 3rd 
Armored Cavalry Regiment. Just for points of clarification, they 
were individuals from the 3rd who ultimately were firing on the 1st 
AD, as you referred to, which is the division that the engineers 
were in support of, is that basically correct? 

Mr. Stiener. Correct, yes, sir. 

Senator THOMPSON. So the 3rd was ultimately engaged with the 
First. In general, what was the primary mission of the 3rd Ar- 
mored Cavalry Regiment? 

Mr. Stiener. Agent Stone can respond to that. 

Mr. Stone. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The 3rd Armored Cavalry 
Regiment, its primary mission was to conduct a flank screen co- 
ordination along the XVIII Airborne Corps/VII Corps boundary and 
to be involved in maintaining coordination points throughout the 
movements throughout the desert. 

Senator THOMPSON. What was the general mission of the 54th 
Engineer Battalion, of which these young men who were fired upon 
were a part? 

Mr. Stone. They were, to provide combat support or logistic sup- 
port for the 1st Armored Division, which was a part of the VII 
Corps. 

Senator Thompson. Can you, looking at that chart there, briefly 
take us through the movement of the troops prior to the fratricide? 



13 

Mr. Stone. Yes, sir. From the time the ground war began, the 
3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, which was, as looking at the chart, 
was to the left, on the XVIII Airborne Corps arrow, and as they 
proceeded throughout the desert, they became involved in what 
was known as the "Hail Mary Move" within the Gulf War. The VII 
Corps, which is depicted by the arrow, to the right or to, ulti- 
mately, the south of the XVIII Airborne Corps was involved in that 
same maneuver. 

Senator THOMPSON. On February 26, 1991, when Colonel Stan- 
received an order to attack the airfield, did he have certain con- 
cerns about the Corps boundary that you have referred to? 

Mr. Stone. Yes, sir, he did. 

Senator THOMPSON. First of all, explain what that boundary is 
and its significance. 

Mr. STONE. I think the primary role of the boundary is to main- 
tain the separation of the units, and 

Senator THOMPSON. The 3rd was above the boundary and the 1st 
was below the boundary, is that correct? 

Mr. Stone. That is correct. 

Senator THOMPSON. Operating in those areas? 

Mr. Stone. That is correct. 

Senator Thompson. All right, sir. 

Mr. Stone. And when the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment re- 
ceived the mission to attack or assault this particular airfield, the 
Regimental Commander, Colonel Starr, had concerns that the air- 
field was close to the boundary. 

Senator Thompson. The airfield being above the boundary? 

Mr. Stone. Yes, sir, it was. It was approximately — the southern- 
most tip of the airfield was 800 meters north of the boundary, and 
Colonel Starr, at that point, requested from the 1st Armored Divi- 
sion a buffer zone or a safety box in order to maneuver, as he said, 
effectively around the airfield. Colonel Starr requested on two occa- 
sions to the 1st Armored Division, specifically, the Assistant Divi- 
sion Commander, that they be granted this buffer zone, and on 
both accounts, he was denied that request. 

Senator Thompson. Because the 1st was operating in that area 
and they had supply lines in that area that they wanted to pre- 
serve, I assume, is that correct? 

Mr. Stone. That is correct. That was the reason the 1st Armored 
Division could not be assured, even though it had moved further 
to the east than the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, they were con- 
cerned that they had logistic support personnel in that area. 

Senator Thompson. So what did Colonel Starr do to address his 
concerns about the Corps boundary, past that? 

Mr. Stone. Once he was denied the buffer zone, he then, in the 
middle of the movement of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment to 
attack this airfield, he changed the operation plan. 

Senator Thompson. Did you state whether or not he made one 
or more than one request to move that boundary? 

Mr. Stone. Yes, sir, he did. He requested on at least two occa- 
sions the buffer zone. 

Senator Thompson. All right, sir. 

Mr. Stone. And once he received the final notification of the de- 
nial of the buffer zone, which was approximately 2200, or I guess 



14 

that is 10 p.m. at night, the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment was 
already in the process of moving towards to attack this airfield, 
and as they moved, they went through several coordination points 
to get to this particular location. 

Once they arrived at this one particular location, Colonel Stan- 
then advised Lieutenant Colonel Daly, who was the 3rd Squadron 
Commander, that there was going to be a change in the orientation 
of attack. The initial plan called for the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regi- 
ment to breach the boundary approximately seven kilometers south 
of the boundary line. 

Senator THOMPSON. All right. Did Colonel Starr or any of the 
troops under his command, in fact, cross the Corps boundary line? 

Mr. Stone. Yes, sir, they did. The units attached to the 3rd 
Squadron, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Daly. 

Senator Thompson. Was that contrary to previous orders? 

Mr. Stone. Yes, sir, it was. 

Senator Thompson. In your view, why did they end up crossing 
the Corps boundary? 

Mr. Stone. I think there were many reasons, but I think four 
particular points. One was the change in the original operation 
plan. When Colonel Starr changed the operation plan and he is- 
sued a fragmentary order to the 3rd Squadron and to the remain- 
ing squadrons of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, he did not ad- 
vise them of all the pertinent information that was needed at that 
time. 

Along with that, once Colonel Starr advised Colonel Daly of that 
information, Colonel Daly nor Colonel Starr advised their subordi- 
nate commanders of all these details of the changed operation plan. 

And then as they continued to move, the 3rd ACR depicted a 
fence and a control tower in the desert, and once they saw that 
fence and that control tower, they became confused, and thinking 
that the airfield was within the fenced area, they breached that 
fence at that time, going below the boundary. 

Senator THOMPSON. Mr. Stone, based on your investigation of the 
incident, did you uncover any evidence that the engineers ever re- 
turned fire? 

Mr. Stone. No, sir. Although there are some individuals who 
stated they saw return fire, our investigation disputes that claim. 

Senator Thompson. Did the airfield which was the objective of 
the 3rd ACR assault intersect the Corps boundary, as the AR 15- 
6 investigation had found? 

Mr. Stone. No, sir. As I previously stated, the southernmost tip 
of the airstrip was approximately 800 meters north of the bound- 
ary. 

Senator THOMPSON. Several statements in the AR 15-6 inves- 
tigation mention a dark and rainy night. What was the weather at 
the time of the first shot? 

Mr. Stone. Reports varied as far as illumination, from clear with 
moon and stars shining to cloudy, but our investigation indicated 
that weather was not a factor in this incident. 

Senator Thompson. Was there any evidence that Lieutenant 
Colonel Daly knew of the possibility that there could be friendly 
troops in the area prior to the incident? 

Mr. Stone. Yes, sir, there was. 



15 

Senator Thompson. Would you elaborate on that? 

Mr. Stone. Yes. In the initial fragmentary order that was re- 
ceived by all the squadron commanders of the 3rd Armored Cavalry 
Regiment, they were alerted that there was the possibility the 1st 
Armored Division was to their right or southern flank. 

Senator Thompson. And who alerted them to that? 

Mr. Stone. That was the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment Oper- 
ations Officer. 

Senator Thompson. Did Lieutenant Colonel Daly identify any of 
the supposed enemy vehicles as being American-made before he 
permitted his gunner to fire? 

Mr. Stone. Yes. There were reports, according to two individuals 
that we interviewed during our investigations, that prior to the 
fatal shots being fired, Lieutenant Colonel Daly identified an Amer- 
ican-made M548 Ammunition Carrier as an Iraqi vehicle. 

Senator THOMPSON. You stated that the first investigation, which 
commenced within hours of the incident, was not complete or thor- 
ough. Who conducted that investigation and what was that person's 
rank? 

Mr. Stone. His name was David Jacquot. His rank was a Cap- 
tain and he was a Staff Judge Advocate that was attached to or 
assigned to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment during the Gulf 
War. 

Senator Thompson. Did Captain Jacquot cooperate with your in- 
vestigation? 

Mr. Stone. No, sir, he did not. We contacted Captain Jacquot on 
two occasions and his reply to our request to be interviewed was 
that he felt the purpose of our investigation was for political rea- 
sons and motivations. 

Senator Thompson. Do you believe it was appropriate to have 
Captain Jacquot conduct an AR 15-6 investigation which was 
clearly going to involve the conduct of higher-ranking officers in his 
command? 

Mr. Stiener. No, sir, we do not feel that it should have taken 
place that way, and this speaks to the issue that I made in my 
opening remark concerning the weaknesses surrounding the AR 
15-6 investigation, the area of command investigating command. 
We feel that the individual should have been of equal rank or high- 
er rank than the highest officer involved in the incident, which, in 
this case, was Colonel Starr. 

Senator Thompson. And, of course, you have mentioned the issue 
of whether or not the engineers returned fire. Was Captain Jacquot 
remiss in not examining the weapons of the engineers to see if they 
had been fired? 

Mr. Stiener. Definitely. It is a basic principle of investigations. 
You have a factual situation where there was disagreement. You 
should aggressively pursue that to its logical end. He should have 
asked the question, checked the weapons to determine if they had 
fired. 

Senator Thompson. In your opening statement, you mentioned 
the discovery of a tape of this incident. How did you discover this 
tape? 

Mr. Stiener. Randy, why don't you take it? 



16 

Mr. STONE. While we were at Fort Bliss, TX, conducting our in- 
vestigation, we were advised by one soldier that he was aware of 
another soldier's possession of an audiotape. We then contacted 
that individual and received that tape from him. 

Senator Thompson. Is this the first time the tape had been dis- 
covered by any investigators, is that correct? 

Mr. Stone. Yes, sir, it was. At that same time, during our in- 
quiry at Fort Bliss, we were also made aware that there were ap- 
proximately two other tapes that had been made, but we were un- 
able to obtain them. 

Senator Thompson. As best you could determine, as far as the 
investigation by Captain Jacquot is concerned, did he actually ever 
interview anybody as such or did he just take statements? 

Mr. Stone. Basically, it appears that on the scene, Captain 
Jacquot issued witness statement forms to many of the participants 
who were involved, but there was no questioning or probing into 
of any depth. 

Senator Thompson. Was the tape something that should have 
been discovered in a thorough Army investigation? 

Mr. Stone. Yes, sir, I believe so, based on the fact that we have 
learned that during training exercises, the radio transmissions 
within the maneuvering room inside these vehicles, the Ml tank 
and the Bradley, they were used to record for training purposes. 

Senator THOMPSON. Perhaps, Mr. Stiener, you might answer this 
question. Do you agree with the ultimate conclusion in the AR 15- 
6 investigation, which found that all personnel acted reasonably 
and responsibly? 

Mr. Stiener. No, sir, we do not. We feel that the facts and find- 
ings of those two investigators led to the logical conclusion that 
people should be held accountable and responsible for the events. 
We also feel that they avoided dealing with what we consider to be 
the major issue, and that is the issue of command and control. 

Senator Thompson. How did you become aware of the Bronze 
Star medals that were issued to the soldiers in the 3rd ACR? 

Mr. Stone. One of the soldiers that we interviewed who was at- 
tached to the 3rd Squadron and was involved in dismounting his 
vehicle to go down to render aid to the engineers indicated to us 
that he had received an Army commendation medal for his actions 
of that evening. He then advised us that once he was presented 
with the award, that he was embarrassed upon his receipt, based 
on the fact it was as a result of this fratricide incident. 

Senator Thompson. Did your investigation reveal as to whether 
or not these soldiers who received the Bronze Stars were engaged 
in any combat actions throughout the Persian Gulf War other than 
this particular incident? 

Mr. Stone. No, sir. 

Senator Thompson. They did not engage in any other combat? 

Mr. Stone. No, sir. 

Senator Thompson. Did you find misleading statements or mis- 
representations in any of the documents submitted in support for 
these awards for heroism? 

Mr. Stone. Yes, sir. We found that the award language, espe- 
cially the citations, indicated that the soldiers were cited for being 



\ 17 

in conflict with an armed enemy and that they were involved in 
taking enemy prisoner personnel. 

Senator Thompson. Were Colonel Starr and Lieutenant Colonel 
Daly involved in some of these misrepresentations? 

Mr. Stone. Yes, sir, they were. 

Senator Thompson. When did the Army finally revoke the med- 
als? 

Ms. Cart. The awards for valor were revoked on April 18 of this 
year, which was actually the day before our report on the incident 
was released. Immediately after that, the awards were then re- 
issued for non-valorous achievement. Those awards were revoked 
on May 5, 1995, by the Secretary of the Army, pending further re- 
view. 

Senator Thompson. The day before we released the report, as 
you recall, we informed the Army and they were very much aware 
that we were getting ready to release your GAO report, and it was 
at that time that they chose to revoke their awards? 

Ms. Cart. Yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson. But did they tell us that they were simulta- 
neously reissuing the awards without the "V" device? 

Ms. Cart. No, sir, and actually, until we received the response 
from the Army this week, we had had no official notification of 
their actions. 

Senator THOMPSON. What I would like from the GAO is a letter 1 
submitted for the record setting forth your recommendations as to 
how these kinds of investigations should be conducted in the fu- 
ture. Is that agreeable with you? 

Mr. Stiener. Yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson. We appreciate that very much. If there are 
no other questions, we will thank you for your testimony. You have 
made a very substantial contribution to this investigation and to 
the effort to find out what went on here. We sincerely appreciate 
your diligence in this matter. Thank you very much. 

Our next witnesses will be Bo Friesen and Kevin Wessels. Both 
Mr. Friesen and Mr. Wessels are former Army officers who, along 
with their units, were involved in this friendly fire incident. Mr. 
Friesen is a former Army Captain and was the Commanding Offi- 
cer of I Troop, 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment when 
this incident occurred. Mr. Wessels, a former Army Lieutenant, 
was the Executive Officer of C Company, 54th Engineering Battal- 
ion, 1st Armored Division, at the time of this incident. 

Gentlemen, we swear in all of our witnesses who appear before 
this Subcommittee and I would ask you both to rise and raise your 
right hands. 

Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you give before this 
Subcommittee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but 
the truth, so help you, God? 

Mr. Wessels. I do. 

Mr. Friesen. I do. 

Senator Thompson. Thank you very much. 

I will ask Mr. Wessels to go first. Do you have a statement to 
make, Mr. Wessels? 



^he document referred to was marked Exhibit 40, and can be found on page 198 



18 

TESTIMONY OF KEVIN J. WESSELS 1 

Mr. WESSELS. Yes, Mr. Chairman, I do. My name is Kevin 
Wessels, and during Operation Desert Storm, I was a First Lieu- 
tenant attached to the 54th Engineering Battalion, United States 
Army. We were responsible for moving ammunition and other logis- 
tics support for the Second Brigade as it advanced in the war. I 
also had the privilege of commanding Corporal Lance Fielder and 
three other enlisted men during the devastating attack on our posi- 
tion that is the subject of this hearing. 

On February 26, 1991, our M548 ammunition carrier broke 
down. While awaiting recovery, we pulled over to the side of a 
main thoroughfare known as a "log line" or logistics line. Although 
this seemed to be a relatively safe position, since American trucks 
were continually passing within 50 feet of us most of the night, I 
still posted a two-man guard. In the early hours of the morning, 
those guards recognized American vehicles, including several Brad- 
leys and a tank. To this day, I will never understand why, if we 
took the time to not only watch and listen for their vehicles, they 
were unable to look at us more carefully before they started firing. 

At approximately 3 a.m. in the morning on February 27, 1991, 
I was awakened by the sound of gunfire and one of my men 
screaming, "Sir, the Americans are shooting at us!" Within seconds, 
another round of fire ripped through our vehicles as we scrambled 
for cover. It was at this point that one of my men, Sergeant James 
Napier, was hit in the leg as he tried to escape. A trailer loaded 
with ammunition started to burn, with some of the rounds detonat- 
ing as the fire spread. 

Specialist Craig Walker ran to Sergeant Napier and carried him 
to safety near Corporal Lance Fielder and Specialist Robert Driben. 
While Corporal Fielder, Specialist Walker, and Specialist Driben 
attended to the wounds sustained by Sergeant Napier, I ran back 
to my Humvee, got on my radio, and announced on several dif- 
ferent command frequencies that we were being fired upon by our 
own troops. 

When the third round of fire started, I crawled back behind the 
M548 ammunition carrier. When the firing stopped, I ran back to 
the Humvee, trying desperately again to reach someone over the 
radio who could help us. I had no luck in contacting anyone. 

When the fourth round of fire began, I grabbed a flare and 
crawled back behind the M548 ammunition carrier. When the 
shooting let up, I fired the flare. I hoped that it was a parachute 
flare which would illuminate the area long enough to be identified 
as Americans. It turned out to be a green star cluster and extin- 
guished quickly. 

Later on, I would be criticized for using a daytime friendly forces 
recognition signal, a green cluster, instead of a nighttime signal or 
a white cluster. Not only had I never been briefed on these signals, 
I did not even have a white cluster. The truth is, I was trying to 
light up the sky in an attempt to save my men, and I was too busy 
being fired upon by other Americans to take inventory of my pyro- 
technic devices. 



J The prepared statement of Mr. Wessels appears on page 75. 



19 

Soon, a fifth blast of fire came from the Americans. When the 
barrage stopped, I saw American armored vehicles moving over to 
our side. I quickly recognized that we would no longer have the 
protection of the M548 ammunition carrier but would be caught in 
a deadly crossfire if the American unit maneuvering to our side 
began firing. I became acutely aware of the fact that if I did not 
do something quickly, all five of us would surely be killed. 

At this point, I turned on my red-lensed flashlight, stood with my 
hands over my head, and walked slowly forward towards the near- 
est Bradley armored vehicle. The gunner of the Bradley, who had 
his 50-caliber machine gun pointed straight at my chest said, "You 
better be an American!" I will spare you my initial response and 
simply say that he was shocked when he found out that I actually 
was. 

A captain from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, or 3rd ACR, 
whose guns had been firing at us walked back with me to where 
my men were located. It was then that I learned that one of my 
finest soldiers, Corporal Lance Fielder, had been hit twice during 
the last round of fire. I was deeply saddened by the realization that 
Lance Fielder had been killed. It was a tragedy that never should 
have happened, Mr. Chairman. 

I immediately called our brigade Medivac. I could only get one 
helicopter, and, in accordance with Army doctrine, they would not 
carry a wounded soldier and a dead soldier in the same helicopter. 
The 3rd ACR captain called for his helicopter and said that they 
would take Sergeant Napier and Corporal Fielder together. 

I filled out a Casualty Feeder Report and stated that Corporal 
Fielder had been killed by friendly fire. The helicopter apparently 
blew the first report away, so I filled out another one, again stating 
that the death was a result of friendly fire. I was shocked to learn 
that Corporal Fielder's parents were later told that he was killed 
by Iraqi forces. 

Within a few hours, an AR 15-6 investigation into this incident 
began. Captain David Jacquot was assigned the task of conducting 
the investigation. He did not ask me any questions. He simply re- 
quested that I write a statement about the incident. That was the 
only time that I have been permitted to make a full statement 
about this incident until this Senate hearing. 

The remainder of the Army's investigation was very frustrating, 
as I felt I was being questioned in such a way as to ensure certain 
specific answers. For example, several months after the incident, I 
was interviewed over the phone by Brigadier General Nicholas Hal- 
ley. He asked me different questions about colors of flares and 
lights that are used as friendly forces recognition signals. He did 
not seem interested at all in the discrepancies and conflicting state- 
ments that I attempted to point out that occurred during the AR 
15-6 investigation. He just said, "Thanks very much," and he hung 
up. Again, I feel that General Halley was looking for certain spe- 
cific answers that would relieve the 3rd ACR of their numerous 
blunders. 

Upon reading the various reports of this incident, I was as- 
tounded to learn that, in order to justify their actions, members of 
the 3rd ACR claimed that my men returned fire. Let me make one 
point very clear. Neither I, nor any of my men, ever fired a single 




20 

shot. Why would we? We knew that they were Americans the en- 
tire time. At no time did Captain Jacquot or anyone even check one 
of our weapons to determine if they had been fired. If they had, 
they would have found that our weapons were full of dust. 

In late 1991 and again in early 1992, I was interviewed during 
an Army Inspector General investigation that I was told was being 
conducted to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding 
the reporting of the death of Corporal Fielder. However, by April 
20, 1992, the focus of the investigation had shifted to, and I quote, 
"allegations of improprieties related to command and control issues 
within the 1st Armored Division and the 54th Engineering Battal- 
ion." In other words, my actions were now being investigated. 

Two weeks later, I was slapped with a letter of admonishment 
from General Edwin Burba. He sent this to me in the mail. Gen- 
eral Burba was not even in my chain of command. Unlike others 
who received letters of reprimand, I was given no opportunity to 
respond. This letter was devastating to me. It stated that I may 
have indirectly contributed to the death of Lance Fielder. Since the 
day I received that letter, those words have been etched in my 
mind. 

I ask each of you to think how such a letter would affect you, 
after seeing your men, after seeing your equipment torn apart by 
gunfire from what you knew to be other American forces. The ac- 
tions I took that night were with one single thought in mind: Do 
whatever it takes to save the lives of my men from the awesome 
amount of American firepower. 

As I sit here today, I can assure this panel, the Army, and, most 
importantly, the parents of Lance Fielder, that I did everything — 
everything in my power to protect my men and stop the attack. I 
will regret for the rest of my life that I was unsuccessful in that 
effort. 

Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you this morning. 

Senator THOMPSON. Thank you, Mr. Wessels. 

Mr. Friesen? 

TESTIMONY OF BO H. FRIESEN » 

Mr. Friesen. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I also appreciate the op- 
portunity to appear before the Subcommittee here today and am 
very grateful for the fact that the Subcommittee is reviewing this 
tragic incident. Quite simply, it never should have happened. 

I will give you my viewpoint of what happened that night. I was 
a member of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, or 3rd ACR, and 
I commanded nine M1A1 Abrams tanks and 12 Bradley fighting 
vehicles. It was my tank and two of my Bradleys that first made 
contact with the engineers on the airfield. 

It is very important to state that I deeply, deeply regret the 
events of that night, and like Kevin Wessels, I will have to live 
with this memory for the rest of my life. But it is also important 
to note that, given the situation and the information with which I 
was provided by my commanders, that I also acted with extreme 
caution. Let me explain. 



1 The prepared statement of Mr. Friesen appears on page 76 



21 

Our objective that night was to seize the Umm Hajul airfield. My 
squadron commander, Lieutenant Colonel Daly, briefed me that 
our unit would be the most forward one in the area. Furthermore, 
I was told that the airfield we were assaulting would be assaulting 
by a heavily dug-in battalion of Iraqi forces. Lieutenant Colonel 
Daly never mentioned the possibility of any friendly forces in the 
area. 

Lieutenant Colonel Daly directed the use of a diamond assault 
formation. The significance of this formation is that there is abso- 
lutely no reconnaissance whatsoever forward. It places the maxi- 
mum tank firepower in the front, but is pretty much blind. The sole 
purpose of this formation is to destroy confirmed enemy positions, 
not suspected enemy positions. This clearly indicated to me that we 
would encounter no friendly forces at any time during our oper- 
ation. 

Lieutenant Colonel Daly sent the squadron on a blind attack into 
an uncertain area. This was a clear violation of basic tactical prin- 
ciples. The use of this type of formation alone confirmed in my 
mind that we would likely encounter heavy resistance by Iraqi 
forces on the airfield. 

As we approached the airfield, my troop discovered what I now 
know to be Lieutenant Wessels' unit. Based on intelligence brief- 
ings I had received, I assumed that he and his men were Iraqi sol- 
diers. Initially, after obtaining Lieutenant Colonel Daly's permis- 
sion, I ordered that a few warning shots be fired. After this, it is 
my firm belief that we began receiving return fire from the sus- 
pected enemy force. As we just heard from Kevin, this was not the 
case. All I can offer to him and his men is that we truly believed 
this to be so. 

We then returned fire in order to suppress what we thought were 
enemy forces. After we had expended what I believed to be the 
maximum amount of necessary force, I ordered a cease fire. The 
soldiers, who at this time we still thought to be Iraqis, no longer 
posed a threat. They were silent. We were heavily armed and could 
easily have destroyed the small group in a matter of seconds. They 
had no place to escape. We contained them on flat terrain and 
could easily have captured them if they had tried to escape. Even 
assuming that they were Iraqis, shooting them at this time would 
have been completely unjustified. 

At this point, confusion broke out as Lieutenant Colonel Daly's 
command group, which included three Bradleys and a number of 
smaller vehicles, pulled up unannounced on my left. Some of my 
men believed his vehicles were Iraqi and nearly fired on them. An- 
other disaster was narrowly averted. 

Later, in a similar display of poor command judgment, Lieuten- 
ant Colonel Daly allowed two of his men to leave his Bradley and 
cross immediately in front of our guns. One of his soldiers soon be- 
came lost and wandered over to another Bradley. For that brilliant 
display of military navigation, I believe he received the Bronze Star 
with "V" device. We had no idea where these men came from and 
we initially thought they were Iraqis. Once again, we came within 
a razor's edge of shooting them. 

As I continued to monitor the situation, I could clearly see 
through my thermal sights as one soldier in Kevin's unit assisted 



22 

a fellow soldier to a safer location. Neither soldier was carrying a 
weapon. I heard Lieutenant Colonel Daly's voice come over the 
radio screaming, "They're getting away! They're getting away!" and 
a burst of machine gun fire erupted from my left, striking the sol- 
dier who had been helping his comrade. A few moments later, a 
second burst struck him again. I later learned that this soldier was 
Corporal Fielder. I was absolutely furious. It became obvious that 
Lieutenant Colonel Daly had disregarded and overridden my cease 
fire. If he had not, Corporal Fielder would still be alive today. 

The mood within my troop got ugly. My soldiers were very angry 
about what had just happened. Several threats against Lieutenant 
Colonel Daly came across the radio net and I had to intervene to 
restore order. 

To make matters even worse, Lieutenant Colonel Daly came up 
to me about an hour after the shooting and said, "We have to keep 
this under our hat." His comments were overheard by some of my 
troops, and I can only imagine the signal this sent to them. Several 
days later, I discovered that my fellow officers were under the false 
impression that we had destroyed an Iraqi force on the night this 
incident occurred. When I tried to correct this misinformation, 
Lieutenant Colonel Daly took me aside and once again advised me 
to remain silent about what had transpired. 

In reviewing the results of the subsequent AR 15-6 investigation, 
I learned that an officer assigned to the 3rd ACR stated that he 
had attempted to receive authorization to cross the Corps boundary 
in order to attack the Umm Hajul airfield. This was denied by the 
1st Armored Division because they had American supply trains in 
the area. This is exactly what Lieutenant Wessels and his unit 
were doing there. 

The officer stated that he briefed the 3rd ACR Executive Officer 
of this fact, who then passed it on to Colonel Starr, Lieutenant 
Colonel Daly's immediate commander. If Colonel Starr ordered the 
attack on that airfield with the knowledge of American supply 
trains in the area, then Colonel Starr is as directly responsible for 
Corporal Fielder's death as is Lieutenant Colonel Daly. I believe 
this to be exactly the case. 

It is crystal clear that Colonel Starr and Lieutenant Colonel Daly 
were aware of both the Corps boundary and the possibility of 
friendly units in the area. Incredibly, they ordered and conducted 
a violent assault into the Umm Hajul area. I feel these were crimi- 
nally negligent acts. 

In sitting next to Kevin today and hearing him talk about his let- 
ter of admonition and the obvious effect it has had on his life, I feel 
compelled to tell this panel that, as an eyewitness to the bravery 
of his actions and the leadership he displayed, the letter is totally 
unjustified. The Army should withdraw the letter and apologize to 
Kevin. 

To the family of Lance Fielder and to Kevin and the men under 
his command, I can never express my true sorrow enough for the 
events that took place that night. I learned early in my career as 
a cadet at West Point that integrity and leadership are the ele- 
ments most vital to commanding men in combat. This forum and 
this investigation, looking into the true causes of this tragic event, 
can go a long way to restoring accountability and the integrity that 



23 

must exist in our armed forces. You have my sincerest thanks for 
that effort. 

Senator Thompson. Thank you, Mr. Friesen. 

We have the unusual situation here of having a young man who 
was fired upon and a young man who was part of the group who 
was doing the firing, but you both share a commonality in that you 
were put in circumstances that were not under your control. I com- 
mend both of you for being here today and for your testimony. 

Mr. Wessels, how did you know that the vehicles approaching 
you were American? 

Mr. Wessels. Mr. Chairman, we had two guards on rotation the 
entire night, and this way, they could speak to each other and kind 
of point things out. They both heard the approaching American ve- 
hicles first. The Ml Abrams tank has a very distinctive sound. But 
in order to confirm this sighting, they also used their night vision 
goggles. Again, they identified the vehicle as an American, not only 
by the silhouette it makes, but they could also see the coalition 
markings on the side and they thought that this was a recovery ve- 
hicle that was coming to assist us. 

Senator Thompson. Mr. Wessels, you were admonished, in part, 
because the Army concluded that your men were not wearing the 
Kevlar helmets or the flak jackets that they say would have helped 
you be recognized as Americans. Were your men wearing this 
equipment? 

Mr. Wessels. Yes, Mr. Chairman. The two people that were on 
guard at all times had their full combat gear, to include their 
Kevlar helmet and flak jackets. The rest of the men that were 
sleeping kept on their complete combat gear except for their Kevlar 
helmets, but they were not able to be seen by the opposing forces 
at that time because they were down in their vehicles. 

Also, the big question that I had about this whole thing is if they 
were able to see such minute detail such as flak vests and Kevlar 
helmets, why were they not able to recognize American vehicles or 
the coalition markings first? 

Senator THOMPSON. As you have heard testimony earlier this 
morning, apparently they did recognize American vehicles, at least 
Lieutenant Colonel Daly and some of the others. Mr. Friesen, were 
you ever made aware of the appropriate anti-fratricide signals to 
be used during the Persian Gulf War? 

Mr. Friesen. Mr. Chairman, the only symbol that we were famil- 
iar with was the inverted "V" painted in black paint on the side 
of the vehicles, which, unfortunately, under thermals, is invisible. 

Senator Thompson. So at night, it is virtually useless, I assume? 

Mr. Friesen. Yes, Mr. Chairman, it is. 

Senator Thompson. Mr. Wessels, what about you? 

Mr. Wessels. I was not aware of any flares or anything like that 
being used as anti-fratricide signals. I later learned and was criti- 
cized for the fact that I fired a green star cluster, which is sup- 
posedly a daytime friendly forces signal, as opposed to a white star 
cluster, which was a nighttime recognition signal. But even if I had 
known about these signals, none of us were issued anything like 
that, so I could not have used them even if I had them in my pos- 
session. 



24 

Senator THOMPSON. Mr. Wessels, can you describe how your men 
performed once the assault began? 

Mr. Wessels. I think that the best way to describe them is that 
they performed heroically, Mr. Chairman. I do not think that they 
have received enough credit for what they have done. In my state- 
ment, I said specifically how Corporal Walker carried Sergeant Na- 
pier to safety. He carried him under the fire from the 3rd ACR. 

In addition to that, they were conducting first aid on a soldier 
who not only had gunshot wounds, but shrapnel wounds. Because 
Corporal Fielder was able to take such command of the situation, 
he directed Specialist Driben to continually go back to the Humvee 
and pick up medical supplies while he and Specialist Walker at- 
tended to Sergeant Napier, then eventually sent Specialist Walker 
to go dig a hasty defensive position to hide everyone in the sand 
and to protect them from the fire. 

If I had to supervise everything that they were doing, I would 
not have been able to do what I needed to do to try to stop the fire. 

Senator THOMPSON. Mr. Friesen, you have indicated you did not 
know that anyone had identified any of the vehicles as American 
or possibly American vehicles, is that correct? 

Mr. Friesen. That is correct, sir. 

Senator Thompson. Had you been told that at that time you 
were below the boundary line? 

Mr. Friesen. No, sir. I only had the most remote idea that VII 
Corps was 20, 30, 40, maybe 100 miles to our south, but a bound- 
ary line was never mentioned. 

Senator THOMPSON. Had you been told that there was a possibil- 
ity of American troops in that area? 

Mr. Friesen. No, sir. I had been told we would be operating 
seven kilometers forward of any American positions. 

Senator THOMPSON. And have you since learned that all that in- 
formation was apparently available to some of your superiors that 
night? 

Mr. Friesen. Yes, sir, sadly enough so. 

Senator THOMPSON. Mr. Friesen, after you ordered the cease fire 
from the initial burst that you described, did you see the opposing 
force, as you thought it to be at that time, take any hostile or ag- 
gressive action? 

Mr. Friesen. No, sir. They took no actions which could even re- 
motely be construed as hostile. 

Senator THOMPSON. Did you feel at that time that the situation 
was totally under control? 

Mr. Friesen. Yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson. Could you have eliminated the perceived 
enemy very expeditiously if you had chosen to do? 

Mr. Friesen. Yes, sir. 

Senator THOMPSON. At any time? 

Mr. Friesen. Yes, sir. We used the lightest weapons at our dis- 
posal. The heavy weapons would have ended everything in a couple 
of seconds. 

Senator Thompson. During the cease fire, was there any indica- 
tion that, in fact, one or more of the people under surveillance 
there were trying to give up? 



25 

Mr. Friesen. They had done exactly what I would expect them 
to do, Mr. Chairman, which is to lay down and keep flat. It was 
our intent to give them a couple of minutes to surrender, but there 
was absolutely no display of aggressive action from them. 

Senator Thompson. Mr. Friesen, what justification did Lieuten- 
ant Colonel Daly have for breaking your cease fire? 

Mr. FRIESEN. In my mind, I can think of no justification. 

Senator THOMPSON. Would you describe exactly how it happened 
that Colonel Daly arrived on the scene? We have the positions on 
the chart there when the fatal shots were fired. The red letter "B" 
at the top there indicates the position of Lieutenant Colonel Daly, 
I believe, before he came to approximate your position there, and 
the broken line there indicates his path there down to where you 
were. Does that comport generally with your recollection? 

Mr. Friesen. Yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson. So you had the situation under control. You 
had ordered a cease fire. Then describe Colonel Daly and the troops 
under him, their movement and the actions after that. 

Mr. Friesen. Sir, they were slightly east of us. We had been pro- 
gressing eastward to attack and then swung south to hit the air- 
field. When he came back around, he approached from the east, 
which was from the direction of the enemy. This caused a mild 
amount of panic in some of my rear platoons, because one of the 
vehicles closely resembled a Soviet-built vehicle that the Iraqis 
had. 

Senator Thompson. How close did you come actually to firing on 
Lieutenant Colonel Daly because he had not identified himself or 
communicated with you in any way that he was coming, is that cor- 
rect? 

Mr. Friesen. Yes, sir, we came pretty close. One of my lieuten- 
ants was sharp enough to recognize the minute difference between 
the vehicle and quickly announced over the general troop frequency 
that we did have friendlies approaching on our left and to be very 
careful not to shoot anybody there. 

Senator Thompson. So continue on with what happened, as you 
recall it. 

Mr. Friesen. We were still waiting for what I perceived to be an 
Iraqi force to surrender. I firmly believed in my mind that they 
would, given just a few more minutes of opportunity. 

Senator Thompson. They had nowhere to go? 

Mr. Friesen. No, sir, they did not. I then saw two individuals 
dashing across my front towards one of my Bradley fighting vehi- 
cles. We immediately put the cross-hairs on them for the machine 
gun, established the range for the target with the laser, and were 
observing them, ready to shoot, finger on the trigger, when I no- 
ticed one of them was wearing a Kevlar [helmet]. I have to say, 
they were quite a bit closer than the engineers so it was more eas- 
ily visible. 

At that point, I asked all of my subordinates who had put people 
on the ground because I had specifically ordered them to keep ev- 
erybody on their vehicles. All replies came back negative, and then 
one of my scout sections came back with the report that they were 
from Colonel Daly's vehicle. 



26 

Senator THOMPSON. So when Colonel Daly arrived and stopped, 
these two individuals came from his Bradley vehicle? 

Mr. Friesen. Yes, sir. 

Senator THOMPSON. Had anybody told you — you were in com- 
mand of the I Troop at that time, right? Had anybody told you that 
individuals would be getting out of any vehicles there or approach- 
ing you in any way? 

Mr. Friesen. No, sir. I was under the firm belief that any dis- 
mounted individuals were enemy. 

Senator THOMPSON. So again, you thought they were the enemy 
and almost shot them? 

Mr. Friesen. Yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson. And I take it, as I recall, one of those two 
individuals, one was following the other one and the one behind ac- 
tually got lost and had to get into one of your vehicles, is that cor- 
rect? 

Mr. Friesen. Yes, sir, that is correct. 

Senator THOMPSON. And he is one of the ones who received a 
medal for valor, is that correct? 

Mr. FRIESEN. Yes, sir, a Bronze Star with "V" device. 

Senator THOMPSON. For that action, apparently? 

Mr. Friesen. Yes. 

Senator Thompson. Mr. Wessels, in your mind, from the time the 
first shots were fired until the last shots ended, approximately how 
long did the attack last? 

Mr. Wessels. Probably up to 10 minutes or so, but it did seem 
to last forever. 

Senator THOMPSON. Mr. Friesen, from your point of view, how 
long do you believe 

Mr. Friesen. Sir, there was a tremendous time dilation under 
the stressful situation. In my mind, it was well over an hour. How- 
ever, thinking back on that logically, it could not have lasted more 
than 5 to 10 minutes. 

Senator Thompson. Mr. Wessels, shortly after the attack, you in- 
dicated Lieutenant Colonel Daly approached you and you had a 
conversation. I would like for you to recount that in as much detail 
as you can as to the substance of that conversation. 

Mr. Wessels. Mr. Chairman, I went over to where Corporal 
Fielder was killed to see if there was anything in the area. I just 
kind of pushed some sand away and I noticed that he had a cross 
and a crucifix on a chain. As I was picking that up to bring it back, 
Colonel Daly stopped me and asked if I had gone to West Point or 
if I had gone through an ROTC program at college. I did not under- 
stand what he was talking about. I said, well, I went through the 
ROTC program, sir. And then he asked me, "Well, in your ROTC 
program, did they ever teach you about the fog of war?" 

Senator Thompson. The fog of war? 

Mr. Wessels. The fog of war, yes, Mr. Chairman. Again, I had 
no response for what he had said and I said, well, of course they 
did, sir. I felt the whole conversation was so bizarre, like he was 
trying to say that it was not his fault and maybe I had put my men 
in danger or something similar to that. 

Senator THOMPSON. Mr. Friesen, as a result of your actions that 
night, you received a letter of reprimand, is that correct? 



27 

Mr. Friesen. Yes, sir. I received that letter 1 day after my rebut- 
tal period expired, but I sent a response anyway. The Army just 
let it go for several months until the day before I appeared on 
"Good Morning America" to talk about this, and it was withdrawn 
in a matter of hours. 

Senator Thompson. So the day before you appeared? 

Mr. Friesen. Yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson. The day before these events seems to be a 
popular time for the Army to take action, does it not? 

Mr. Friesen. Yes, sir, it seems that way. 

Senator Thompson. All right. What do you think about that let- 
ter and what did you do about it? 

Mr. Friesen. Well, sir, I feel that the letter was totally unjusti- 
fied. Even though I feel a tremendous amount of shame over what 
happened and I wish there was something that I could have done 
to prevent it, I did exercise an even greater amount of care and re- 
straint than a battlefield commander normally would. Under the 
circumstances I was in and the lack of information that my superi- 
ors provided me with, I felt I acted properly. 

Senator THOMPSON. And what action was taken? 

Mr. Friesen. The letter was withdrawn, sir. 

Senator THOMPSON. All right, sir. 

Mr. Wessels, for your actions that night, the Army sent you a let- 
ter of admonishment, is that correct? 

Mr. Wessels. Yes, Mr. Chairman. 

Senator THOMPSON. Obviously, it is not justified. What do you 
think about it and what did you do about it? 

Mr. Wessels. It came in the mail in my unit while I was in Ger- 
many. I went to pick it up and I opened it to read it and it said 
specifically that I was being charged for contributing to the death 
of Lance Fielder. I did not know what to say about it. I was com- 
pletely shocked. 

I went immediately to my commander. We both reviewed the let- 
ter. It said nothing about how I could respond to the letter or if 
I felt it were appropriate and how I could do a rebuttal. We went 
through my immediate chain of command, as much as we could, 
but they found out that there was nothing we could do. Because 
there was no way for me to rebut it, we assumed that the Army 
was saying, you are guilty and we are not going to let you say any- 
thing otherwise and you must accept this. 

Senator THOMPSON. What was going through your mind as you 
approached the American forces with your hands over your head, 
after just receiving these bursts of fire and seeing one of your com- 
rades wounded and another of your comrades killed? Did you fully 
expect that you would be immediately identified as American? 

Mr. Wessels. I was hoping, Mr. Chairman, because I had the 
red-lensed flashlight, that that would be enough for them to at 
least say, hey, something is going wrong here. This person has 
their hands over their head. They are not going to cause any threat 
to us. But as soon as I noticed that they had the 50-caliber ma- 
chine gun pointed at me, I was not sure if I was going to make my 
destination. 

Senator THOMPSON. Did you keep walking? 

Mr. Wessels. Yes, I did, as slowly as I could. 



92-497 0-95-2 



28 

Senator THOMPSON. Mr. Wessels, I can only say that your receiv- 
ing an admonishment under those circumstances is an absolute dis- 
grace. We cannot do anything about what has happened in the past 
or these people who were wounded and killed, but I believe we can 
probably have some influence on that, and I can assure you we will 
do everything in the world to make sure that that disgraceful ac- 
tion by the Army is rectified. If anybody deserves a medal from 
what happened out there that night, I think you do from the action 
that you took. 

Let me ask this, Mr. Wessels: Do you think the Army's investiga- 
tion into this incident was fair or thorough? 

Mr. Wessels. No, sir, not at all. I had an opportunity to view 
some of the AR 15-6 statements, and that is why when Brigadier 
General Halley called me and asked me if I had any questions, I 
brought out as many conflicts that I had found with the statements 
and found with the findings, to point those out for them to inves- 
tigate those further. But, as I said, he completely disregarded that 
and then just hung up on me. 

Senator Thompson. Were you ever interviewed as such by the 
original AR 15-6 investigating officer? 

Mr. WESSELS. No, Mr. Chairman. They just brought the blank 
AR 15-6 statements down and said, fill this out to the best of your 
ability and then turn them back in. All the other subsequent inter- 
views were just done all over the phone, with me in Germany and 
the investigating team in the United States. 

Senator Thompson. Did you ever get the impression that any- 
body was remotely interested in what actually occurred out there 
that night? 

Mr. Wessels. I got the feeling that the only interest they had 
was that they wanted me to give certain specific answers, such as 
I was not aware of the anti-fratricide devices and so forth, so they 
could 

Senator Thompson. In other words, things that would incrimi- 
nate yourself in some way, perhaps? 

Mr. Wessels. Exactly. 

Senator Thompson. When did you really have the opportunity to 
tell your story for the first time? 

Mr. WESSELS. Aside from my family, they were really the only 
ones who would listen to me and believed me. Finally, when I was 
approached by Eric Thorson of the Subcommittee, it was the first 
time I ever felt that anyone in the United States was on my side. 

Senator Thompson. Mr. Friesen, what is your opinion of the 
Army's investigation? 

Mr. Friesen. I have to agree with Mr. Wessels, sir. I feel that 
these investigations already had a predetermined outcome and the 
outcome was to protect and absolve the leaders responsible for this 
negligent act. The investigation simply gathered evidence to sup- 
port this foregone conclusion and just ignored all the glaring incon- 
sistencies that refuted it. 

At each subsequent investigation, the stakes were a little higher. 
They sacrificed a few lower-level individuals, such as Lieutenant 
Wessels and myself. I believe that was an attempt to placate people 
in authority who still had an interest in the truth coming out, but 



29 

the entire series of investigations, to me, had the appearance of a 
whitewash or a coverup. 

Senator Thompson. Gentlemen, thank you very much. Is there 
anything else you would like to say? Thank you very much for com- 
ing here. You have been very helpful. I cannot tell you how much 
I appreciate your willingness to come and relate the facts, espe- 
cially you, Mr. Friesen. I know this is a painful ordeal. Mr. 
Wessels, obviously what you went through is a very painful ordeal, 
but it is young men and women like you who make this country 
great, make our Army great, make our military forces great, and 
give us hope for the future. You just continue to have faith in the 
system and do the right thing and I think you will see that the 
right thing ultimately will be done in response to your actions. 

Thank you very much for being here and God bless you. 

Mr. Wessels. Thank you. 

Mr. Friesen. Thank you, sir. 

Senator Thompson. Our next witnesses will be Deborah Shelton 
and Ronald Fielder, the parents of Army Sergeant Douglas Lance 
Fielder, who was killed in this incident. Ms. Shelton and Mr. Field- 
er, first of all, I want to convey our deepest sympathy for the loss 
that you have suffered. We have had an opportunity to discuss this 
several times in the past, and I know that this is perhaps some- 
what the end of a long road for you. I want to commend you for 
your determination and your persistence for this search for the 
truth and what happened with regard to this tragedy. 

As you know, we swear in all witnesses before this Subcommit- 
tee, so I would now ask you to both rise and raise your right hand. 

Do you swear that the testimony you give before this Subcommit- 
tee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, 
so help you, God? 

Ms. Shelton. I do. 

Mr. Fielder. I do. 

Senator THOMPSON. Thank you. 

Ms. Shelton, do you have a statement to make? 

TESTIMONY OF DEBORAH SHELTON AND RONALD FDZLDER 1 

Ms. Shelton. Yes, sir, I do. Good morning, Mr. Chairman. I ex- 
tend to you my appreciation for the opportunity to speak before 
your Subcommittee today. Every member of my family has asked 
me to offer you a heartfelt thanks for your support and service to 
us. Our decision to accept your invitation was, in part, based upon 
one simple principle that we believe is vital to us all. Liberties 
wane, while we in silence or with other things to do, ponder what 
we value more than the liberty to speak. 

I consider your encouragement to provide testimony here an act 
of good faith in demonstrating the importance of a Government 
willing to serve all people and ideas of merit. Among the tradi- 
tional American liberties and ideals reside honesty, integrity, and 
justice. These are well-proven tools for seeking truth. I ask you to 
apply them with skill today, not to understand my truth but to find 
your own during this inquiry. 



^he combined prepared statement of Ms. Shelton and Mr. Fielder appears on page 78. 



30 

Our son, Sergeant D. Lance Fielder, was killed in action by 
friendly fire while serving as a member of the United States Army 
during Operation Desert Storm. From the very moment of his 
death, the facts surrounding this tragedy were known accurately 
and in detail to all involved military personnel. 

However, what I have learned since Lance's death is that any 
truth related to the matter has been suppressed. That action was 
adopted by consensus and endorsed by segments within the Army 
officer corps, in accordance with an agreed upon plan. 

The plan was simple. It contained only three parts. First, lie 
about how Sergeant Lance Fielder died. Second, enhance the basic 
lie with arrogant bravado, claiming the participants in this action 
performed heroic feats. And finally, use the lie for personal gain by 
awarding medals for distinguished service under fire to conspira- 
tors and/or any participants. 

On Thursday, February 28, 1991, at 3 p.m., two members of the 
Army's notification team came to each of our homes simulta- 
neously. They informed us that Lance had been killed while in 
combat with the Iraqis on February 26, 1991. On the following Sat- 
urday, March 2, 1991, we each received a Mailgram from the Army 
that read: "This Mailgram is to confirm to you that your son, Spe- 
cialist Douglas Lance Fielder, died in Iraq on 26 February 1991, as 
the result of massive chest trauma, due to multiple gunshot 
wounds received while engaging the enemy." 

We buried Lance on Friday, March 8, 1991. I remember standing 
at the cemetery where we laid him to rest, thinking about my son 
and the others buried in that place. I thought about how we try 
to honor our fallen soldiers and how small a piece of ground they 
each receive in death. At that moment, the funeral service and the 
small piece of ground did not seem to be enough for Lance or for 
any of the others who had given their lives for their country. 

Mr. Fielder. Several weeks after Lance's funeral, I received a 
phone call at 3 a.m. on May 2, 1991. The voice on the other line 
said, "This is Specialist Mark Norwood. I served in the Army with 
Lance. I was a friend of his and I am in Saudi Arabia now. The 
Army is lying to you. Lance was killed by an American unit. I can- 
not talk any longer right now, but when I come home I am going 
to tell you everything that really happened." 

The phone rang again about an hour later. This time, it was a 
Captain Bowser, who was Specialist Norwood's commander. Cap- 
tain Bowser told me that Lance had been killed by an attacking 
American unit. He also told me that Lance would be receiving the 
Bronze Star with "V" device for valor. 

During each of these calls, I was in shock. I could not think of 
any questions to ask, and it was difficult for me to comprehend 
what I was being told. American soldiers had killed my son, but my 
country had already told me that Iraqis had done it. 

These calls, which came in the middle of the night from my son's 
colleagues, were the only accurate notification, if it can be called 
that, that Deborah and I would receive for many months. The 
Army did not provide us with official notification until August of 
1991, more than 3 months after Lance's colleagues had called and 
told me the truth. Waiting 3 months to hear something from the 
Army would prove difficult. 



31 

Shortly after I received the calls, I telephoned Deborah and ex- 
plained what I had learned from Lance's friends. Our discovery 
that Lance had been killed by an American force caught us com- 
pletely off guard. As we would learn, to our sorrow, we were about 
to begin a process of grief and pain all over again. However, this 
time, the fact of Lance's death came to us under a painful shroud 
of deceit. 

I recall a conversation I had with Specialist Ted Lane, the 
Army's official escort, that took place on March 7, 1991, the day be- 
fore we buried Lance. When I asked him the circumstances of my 
son's death, Lane told us he did not know. During a later visit by 
Lane, we would find out that this was not true. Ted Lane had 
known all along what the truth was but he had been instructed not 
to discuss Lance's death with us or to volunteer any information 
of consequence. 

For more than 3 months after we first received the horrifying 
news from the soldiers in Lance's unit, we heard absolutely nothing 
from the Army about what happened, absolutely nothing. You can- 
not imagine how unnerving it is to be first told your son died at 
the hands of the enemy, then to be told off the record that he was 
killed by an American, and then to be told nothing. 

The Army eventually decided to give us official notification about 
the cause of Lance's death. The Army called and told each of us 
that papers would be delivered at exactly 3 p.m. on August 12, 
1991. We were each given a copy of the same letter and asked to 
sign for it. 

The letter read, in part: "Armored vehicles from another U.S. 
force strayed into your son's area. The soldiers in these vehicles 
mistakenly identified Lance's vehicle as hostile. They fired shots, 
wounding one of the other soldiers. The soldiers with Lance dis- 
mounted their vehicles and formed a hasty defensive position, 
while Lance attended to the wounded soldier. As Lance was per- 
forming first aid, a second round of machine gun fire wounded him. 
Lance died bravely, giving aid to a fellow soldier in the thick of bat- 
tle, selflessly serving his country." 

Ms. Shelton. The delivery of the notification letter was unusual 
and it caught our attention immediately. We were told that the 
timing for the receipt of the letter was critical. This was stressed 
repeatedly as an important and vital element. Later, we discovered 
that we were only one of a large number of American families who 
unknowingly participated in a well-orchestrated event. 

The Army had decided, at one time, on 1 day, to inform all the 
families whose loved ones had been killed by friendly fire of the 
real cause of their deaths. Thus, we were only one of many families 
across the country who were told at exactly 3 p.m. on August 12, 
1991, that their loved one had been killed by friendly fire. 

On that day, Army personnel fanned out across the country with 
military precision, executing the Army's notification plan by break- 
ing the bad news to everyone in unison, months after the war had 
ended. The Army's tactic was to overwhelm the media with the 
magnitude of the event itself while masking the real significance 
of the unusually large number of American deaths by friendly fire. 

Death by friendly fire is a very sensitive subject. It had to be 
handled with great skill. If the Army had informed the families of 



32 

the friendly fire victims of the cause of death in each case as soon 
as possible, this would have created a long string of shocking dis- 
closures over an extended period of time and that would have 
harmed the Army, because as long as the story circulated in the 
press, reporters were going to be asking questions. 

From a military standpoint, the story was big, the news was bad, 
and a negative impact in the media was certain. Since so many 
Americans were killed by other Americans in Desert Storm, the 
truth of the fact could not be hidden or avoided. The strategy re- 
quired accepting one big negative hit in the press, then letting the 
story die. By speaking at the same time to each family victimized 
by friendly fire, the military limited to the greatest extent possible 
the envisioned outrage by the media. Duping the media was vital. 

We knew there was nothing that would bring back our son, but 
at the same time, we were forced to face certain realities. How was 
Lance killed by Americans? Why did the U.S. Army elect to lie to 
our family? Did they have something to hide? If that were true, 
what were they attempting to conceal? 

Making some notes on what was known to us at the time helped 
me focus on three very important issues. Why were Lance and a 
handful of men left alone in the desert in the first place? What 
really took place out there, and how could American forces attack 
and kill other Americans? Exactly what did happen to my son from 
the time he died until he came home? 

It was clear to Ron and to me that no amount of agonizing would 
get us the truth. I knew that, for myself, there would never be an 
end to the anguish until our family had the complete truth. I made 
up my mind to look for the truth until I found it. 

I began calling and meeting with people, requesting Government 
documents, and writing letters. Over the last 4 years, I have placed 
more phone calls, written more letters, filed more Freedom of Infor- 
mation Act requests, and contacted more people than I could pos- 
sibly count for you today. The search for the truth has been a 
heartbreaking 4-year journey through thickets of deceit, delay, bu- 
reaucratic incompetence, and callousness. 

I began to consider how many people it takes to tell a really big 
lie, and today, I still do not know. However, I do know it only takes 
one to initiate that process. It would take some time for me to 
learn that the dishonesty for this situation began in the desert, a 
long way from where I stood. Yet, it did not stop there but moved 
instead with remarkable swiftness to savage our family. This same 
dishonesty gained strength with assistance from those who, in 
time, would elect to lie, obstructing the truth and also to protect 
themselves. 

I soon discovered that our quest for the truth would require pa- 
tience, diligence, and common sense. Patience has never been my 
virtue. However, with enough determination, I thought I would 
make up for that shortcoming in other ways. 

As this Senate Subcommittee receives testimony from the wit- 
nesses here today, there is no doubt that many lingering questions 
remain. For example, did the commanders involved benefit from 
the tragedy by sending our son home a hero? Did the risk involved 
in deceiving us initially about the cause of our son's death appear 
acceptable to the people involved? What happened to the original 



33 

battlefield paperwork and other documents that disclosed the evi- 
dence of friendly fire? 

Were awards given or forced upon soldiers to keep them silent 
about the true facts surrounding Lance's death? Is there a direct, 
viable, and recognized relationship between the award for valor on 
the battlefield and military promotions? 

Did one or more commanders involved in this friendly fire trag- 
edy relinquish command by becoming directly involved in the at- 
tack? Did a heated argument, which verged on physical violence, 
occur at Colonel Starr's Command Headquarters immediately after 
the incident? Was Lieutenant Colonel Daly responsible for the ac- 
tions of his gunner? Why does the U.S. military not provide to the 
families of friendly fire victims full disclosure of its investigations? 

Mr. Fielder. On January 25, 1992, Colonel Waller from the 
Army Inspector General's office came to Nashville to tell us about 
the Army investigation into the reasons why we had received erro- 
neous notification about Lance's death. Colonel Waller began the 
meeting by telling us, "Well, Murphy is alive and well." The first 
thing that flashed into my mind was, it is too bad my son is not. 
We were stunned by his comment. He continued, saying, "To 
compound a comedy of errors, who would have ever believed that 
the one soldier this happened to would also be the one whose moth- 
er spent 3 weeks with him in Germany and these soldiers think 
she is their mother, too." We just listened. 

It is our opinion that Colonel Waller began his investigation with 
a predetermined conclusion, which Deborah feared would lead him 
to ignore the most troubling aspects of the notification issue. For 
example, Colonel Waller seemed to discount completely the testi- 
mony of a soldier who pinned a death tag on Lance's uniform just 
before Lance was evacuated. 

That tag, which listed the cause of Lance's death as friendly fire, 
was missing when Lance's body arrived at the MASH unit, where, 
with no information to the contrary, Lance was mistakenly listed 
as "Killed in Action" by Iraqi troops. The disappearance of the tag 
is apparently the reason why we were kept in the dark for so many 
months about the real cause of Lance's death. 

On April 20, 1992, we received a copy of the Army Inspector Gen- 
eral's written report on the investigation of the notification issue. 
The report dealt in detail with the mechanics of the notification 
process, the shapes and sizes of various Army forms, but it only 
glossed over the facts surrounding what really happened the night 
Lance was killed. 

Our fears were confirmed. Colonel Waller's report did not re- 
motely resemble the verbal briefing that we had previously re- 
ceived from him. The Inspector General's report was convoluted 
and misleading, but above all, it seemed to confirm Colonel 
Waller's predetermined conclusions. 

Ms. SHELTON. Then and there, for the first time, I really began 
to understand the rules of engagement in the truest sense of the 
term. We were dismayed by the Inspector General's report but de- 
cided to press forward to find out what really happened to our son. 
We had concluded by this time that the Army was completely un- 
willing to help us discover the truth about our son's death. 



34 

For example, I called General Edwin H. Burba, who signed sev- 
eral reprimands that the Army gave after Lance's death, to inquire 
about the reprimands. A representative from General Burba's office 
called me back and said, "Quite frankly, madam, this is a military 
matter and none of your concern." 

We got an appointment at Senator Sasser's office in Washington 
with the intent of requesting a GAO investigation into Lance's 
death and also the process of the entire investigation. In late April 
1992, Ron and I traveled to Washington to meet with some of Sen- 
ator Sasser's staff. After presenting our scenario and summary of 
the Inspector General's report and dealings to date with the Army, 
Senator Sasser asked the GAO to review the case to see if any in- 
vestigation would be warranted. This was early in June of 1992. 

On November 2, 1992, we found out that the GAO does, in fact, 
agree with us and sees clear need for an investigation. We were 
told that the GAO would begin its work in January of 1993. We 
later learned that the Army, through General Griffith, who was the 
IG at the time, worked behind the scenes to hold up the investiga- 
tion by persuading Senator Sasser's office that he wanted to speak 
to us in person before the investigation started, but then never call- 
ing us. General Griffith caused the GAO to delay its work for near- 
ly 2 more months. 

When Senator Sasser was defeated, it became obvious to us we 
needed another Senator to take up our cause and push for the pub- 
lication of the GAO report. We appreciate more than words can say 
the able assistance of you, Senator Thompson. You have carried 
our cause forward. We know that our State is truly fortunate to 
have you. The voters from Tennessee chose well and our families 
thank you from the bottom of our hearts. 

On April 22, 1994, the GAO completed its investigation and we 
received a briefing. We learned then for the first time about the 
medals for valor that had been awarded to those who were involved 
in the attack on Lance's unit. We also learned of the GAO's conclu- 
sion that Lieutenant Colonel Daly, the commander of the unit that 
attacked Lance, failed to maintain adequate command and control 
over his squadron. 

The GAO further concluded that Lieutenant Colonel Daly broke 
the rules of engagement that evening by firing at an unidentified 
target that was not firing back, and that Daly knew and failed to 
tell his soldiers that there might be other Americans in the area. 

The GAO also discovered that in the moments just before the at- 
tack, a soldier heard Lieutenant Colonel Daly report to his com- 
mander that Daly saw an American-made vehicle but identified it 
as an Iraqi. These findings confirmed what we have believed for a 
long time. Lieutenant Colonel John Daly's negligence led directly 
to the death of our son. 

Mr. Fielder. I am a police sergeant in Nashville, TN. As such, 
I know the responsibility that goes with discharging a weapon in 
the line of duty. Military forces who kill the enemy are one of two 
things, disciplined and courageous or undisciplined and dangerous. 
In my opinion, the factors critical in making this distinction are 
leadership and the ability to command. Within the scope of Amer- 
ican justice and law enforcement, we have specific guidelines, 
which include accountability to the citizens of America. 



35 

In my capacity as the entry leader on the SWAT team in Nash- 
ville, TN, if I displayed such use of force in a similar situation, 
went to the wrong address, violated rules of engagement, shot an 
unidentified person and killed him, the consequences for such ac- 
tions would be swift. I can assure you there would be neither a 
medal nor a promotion. 

I would immediately be fired, charged with either manslaughter 
or second degree murder, and made to stand accountable. Failure 
for the Metropolitan Police Department to dismiss me immediately 
under such circumstances would undoubtably result in a guilty ver- 
dict against the city for negligent retention. 

Some may think that Deborah and I hate the United States 
Army and that our hatred for that institution has been our motiva- 
tion. Nothing can be further from the truth. We cannot hate the 
Army. If we did, it would be like hating Lance, because he loved 
being a part of the Army so much. There has never been a soldier 
who was more proud of wearing the Army uniform. 

On the contrary, we care so much about the Army that we have 
spent the last 4 years trying to help it realize the loss of integrity 
displayed in this matter. As a wise man said in reference to this 
case, "This lie has done more harm to the military than a thousand 
truths would have done." Accountability and integrity in our mili- 
tary must be restored. 

Ms. Shelton. The GAO discovered that soldiers in Lieutenant 
Colonel Daly's unit received valorous awards for the attack and 
that those awards were based on misstatements and misrepresen- 
tations. In April 1994, the GAO briefed the Army in detail about 
those improper awards and lies that supported them. The Army's 
response to the briefing typifies everything the Army has done in 
this case. First, the Army sat on the information for a year and 
only took action 1 day before the GAO's final report was released 
in the spring of 1995. The timing of the Army's action cannot be 
a coincidence. 

Second, when the Army finally rescinded the Bronze Stars with 
"V" devices that were awarded to the soldiers in Lieutenant Colo- 
nel Daly's unit, it simultaneously reissued Bronze Stars and Army 
Commendation Medals for Merit to those same soldiers. This says 
that although we no longer think killing your son is a valorous act, 
it was a meritorious one. 

This is appalling. It nauseates me to know that American sol- 
diers would accept an award for valor based on a lie. Failure to ac- 
cept responsibility is cowardice, and turning that failure into a ca- 
reer-enhancing event is an unspeakable act. As such, it tarnishes 
the honor of every brave soul who ever risked death by fighting for 
his or her country. It also breaks the hearts of those who love 
America. But we know brave hearts do prevail. 

I understand lies, regrets, and mistakes. Having worked to find 
the truth in this tragedy, I have also learned to recognize deceit for 
personal gain, military commanders who do not command, and 
those who have no honor. 

If Lance were alive today, he would understand the importance 
of preserving the meaning and integrity of awards for heroism in 
combat. Until the GAO report, we did not know a requirement for 
the "V" device is that the recipient be engaged with the enemy. 



36 

Mr. Fielder. Lance was an honorable person, and accepting an 
award he was not eligible for would have offended his sense of 
honor. Therefore, we now return to the Army his Bronze Star 
medal with "V" device and the commendation we received on his 
behalf. All we ask from the Army is that it correct Lance's head- 
stone to reflect the fact that Lance did not receive this medal. 

Mr. Chairman, this concludes our statement. 

Senator Thompson. Thank you very much, Ms. Shelton, Mr. 
Fielder. 

I have a lot of questions here, but I somehow do not even feel 
like they would be appropriate under the circumstances. You have 
covered everything. You have stated what has occurred and you 
have stated what you think about what has occurred. It is time you 
had the opportunity to express to us and to the Army and to the 
Nation exactly how you feel about this and exactly what happened. 

You have suffered a tremendous loss. You share that with many, 
many other people who have suffered similar losses, children in 
conflict and combat. But I think you also represent all those people, 
all those people not only who have suffered losses in so-called 
friendly fire situations but those who will in the future suffer losses 
of loved ones, and those who have and will receive medals meritori- 
ously for good reason. 

We owe it to them to make sure that when young people do die 
for their country, that their parents and loved ones have some con- 
fidence in what they are told, and that when brave people receive 
medals, that we have confidence as a country that those medals are 
meritorious, as practically all of them certainly are. 

So you represent a lot of people, and your diligence, your persist- 
ence in this matter is what really caused these hearings to come 
about and for the truth to finally come out. As you have said in 
our conversations from the very beginning, your purpose in this 
was not to get back at anybody, because the past cannot be 
changed, but that, hopefully, this will cause procedures to change 
and this will make it less likely for tragedies like this to happen 
again. So by this, perhaps we can spare some people and some par- 
ents in the future from what you have had to go through, and I 
commend you for that. 

I would just ask you if you have any other thoughts. We can be 
somewhat informal here. We do not have to read prepared state- 
ments all the time. 

Mr. Fielder, of course, is a very well-regarded member of the po- 
lice force there in Nashville. You have drawn an apt analogy, I 
think, as to what would happen to you under similar circumstances 
and the kind of judgment that was exercised here. 

Ms. Shelton, you have really carried the ball on this for so long. 
I know the burden that you have carried. 

Anything additionally that either one of you would like to say 
concerning what happened or what you would like to see in the fu- 
ture would certainly be welcomed. 

Ms. Shelton. I think I said everything in my statement. Thank 
you, Mr. Chairman. 

Senator Thompson. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Fielder? 

Mr. Fielder. No, sir, Mr. Chairman. I have said all I can. 



37 

Senator Thompson. Thank you very much for your testimony. 

Our next witness will be Army Lieutenant Colonel John H. Daly, 
Jr. Lieutenant Colonel Daly was involved in this friendly fire as 
the Commanding Officer of the 3rd Squadron of the 3rd Armored 
Cavalry Regiment. 

Colonel Daly, do you swear that the testimony you will give be- 
fore this Subcommittee will be the truth, the whole truth, and 
nothing but the truth, so help you, God? 

Lt. Col. Daly. I do, sir. 

Senator THOMPSON. Thank you. Be seated. Do you have a state- 
ment to make, Colonel Daly? 

TESTIMONY OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOHN H. DALY, JR., 1 
UNITED STATES ARMY; ACCOMPANIED BY LIEUTENANT 
COLONEL JAMES P. GERSTENLAUER, REGIONAL DEFENSE 
COUNSEL, UNITED STATES ARMY TRIAL DEFENSE SERVICE 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir, I do. Thank you. 

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, thank you for this 
opportunity to present my testimony before this Committee. I hope 
that my comments and responses to your questions will assist you 
in your task of understanding what happened in the Iraqi desert 
4V2 years ago. 

Sir, this is the first time I have been able to address Sergeant 
Fielder's family publicly. I want the Fielder family to know that I 
share their loss. From the moment of Sergeant Fielder's death, 
they have been in my thoughts and prayers. While confusion is 
normal in combat, the tragic combination of events in February 
1991, resulting in the loss of their son, is not something I take 
lightly. I want them to know that I share their sorrow and pain. 
I wish they could understand how abhorrent I find that my actions 
and those of my subordinates have resulted in the death of a fellow 
soldier. 

Ms. Shelton, in an anguished letter to me, expressed her hope 
that I shared the hell she is going through. I want her to know that 
I empathized with her when she wrote, "If there is a God, and I 
believe there is, I must trust him to make your journey for peace 
as difficult as mine." 

She should know that my journey has also been a difficult one. 
No grief is as great as a mother's grief, and I do not presume to 
compare mine with hers. However, I do think of their anguish and 
pain daily. Any semblance of normalcy in my life is and will always 
be overshadowed by this loss. 

I have both a son and a daughter and I can only barely imagine 
her tremendous sense of loss. I believe there is a God, and although 
I do not believe He is vengeful, I do believe He gave me the con- 
science which has reminded me every waking minute of my part 
in this tragedy. 

I have been asked repeatedly why I have not contacted Sergeant 
Fielder's family to express my feelings. My lack of direct commu- 
nication has been offered by some as evidence to support a mali- 
cious point of view or other broad implication, and I reject such 
conjecture outright. 



1 The prepared statement of Lt. Col. Daly appears on page 82. 



38 

I continue to believe that, absent some conclusive resolution of 
this matter, any comment by me would have been taken as a shal- 
low attempt to deflect criticism and I have hoped to avoid such an 
interpretation. I hoped to contact Sergeant Fielder's family when 
an investigation into this accident had been concluded, but numer- 
ous investigations have never ended. 

The first issue I understand this Committee is addressing is gov- 
ernmental accountability. I would like to address my own account- 
ability in this case. I, long ago, accepted the responsibilities of com- 
mand. When this incident occurred, I offered to step down on the 
spot. My commander rejected this, as he viewed I had a higher re- 
sponsibility to the 1,000 men I was leading. 

As I said in my letter to the Forces Command Commander, I un- 
derstand that a commander is responsible for everything his unit 
does or fails to do. I have not attempted to escape those respon- 
sibilities. Rather, I asked then and ask now that my actions be 
judged in light of the facts and circumstances as we knew them at 
the time. 

From the beginning, I have been forthcoming. I freely gave my 
open and honest assessments, without requesting an attorney. I 
provided hundreds of pages of testimony and I took responsibility 
for my actions. I encouraged openness from my subordinates in the 
belief that truth is the right policy. I have been reprimanded, and 
this reprimand is publicly known and known throughout the Army 
and throughout my profession. 

Sir, much has been said about my family and that I am a son- 
in-law of a former Chief of Staff of the Army, and because of that 
I have somehow received special treatment. Nothing could be fur- 
ther from the truth. I had always believed that the Army would 
have the courage to treat members in my situation fairly and with 
dignity, regardless of their family or political associations. 

My father-in-law has done nothing to help me or influence this 
matter. He has been dead 21 years and I never even met him. He 
died 7 years before his daughter and I were married and 3 years 
before I met my wife's brother. For some reason, unbeknownst to 
me, armchair critics have found it unusual or remarkable that a 
man and a woman who grew up in similar circumstances would be 
attracted to each other, fall in love, and marry. 

It is true that I am proud of the service my family rendered to 
our Nation. My father was a General Officer, and he is also long 
dead. I make no apologies for being born into this family; none 
should be expected and the matter is not germane to this inquiry. 

It has been said that I am in a career-enhancing duty position 
in the Pentagon, and this is cited as proof of special treatment. The 
truth is much different. I have been at the same desk for the past 
3 years, performing the same level of work as a research assistant. 
Although selection boards have repeatedly and consistently rec- 
ommended me for promotion and schooling, this promotion has 
been blocked by the Department of Defense with only the most cur- 
sory explanation. The truth is, I am in sort of a military purgatory. 
I have been told unofficially that I am an expendable political li- 
ability. 

My part in the Gulf War was to command more than 1,000 sol- 
diers in 40 tanks, 45 Bradley fighting vehicles, and six self-pro- 



39 

pelled Howitzers. When we began combat operations, everyone 
fully expected to encounter a determined enemy, and we antici- 
pated a large number of casualties. I expected that I would not sur- 
vive because of the demand placed upon leaders in high-risk, high- 
intensity cavalry operations. I had put my affairs in order and pre- 
pared my wife for this eventuality. It is not possible for me to de- 
scribe this further. 

Shortly before or after midnight on February 27, 1991, I was or- 
dered to conduct a passage of lines, one of the most difficult and 
dangerous of all combat operations. It was dark, rainy, and cold, 
then dusty and clear. I was then ordered to wheel my squadron 
and radically change direction under the direct fire weapons of an- 
other squadron to attack and seize an airfield. Our maps were out 
of date, and even if they had been current, sheet after sheet would 
have shown little more than featureless flat desert. Command and 
control is an imperfect art under the best of circumstances. It is 
hardly a science. 

I applaud the General Accounting Office for their precision in 
documenting an incident which lasted minutes and occurred more 
than 4V2 years ago and for which there are no records other than 
those in the memories of the soldiers present. 

The GAO describes the situation with a clarity which is, sadly, 
never characteristic of combat operations. The GAO describes the 
complexity of combat operations as if they were simple stage per- 
formances involving a few well-choreographed characters. The GAO 
presents a report which appears to be practically god-like. Sir, it 
is not. 

We may discuss from the comfort of this room the precision of 
GPS coordinates and unit boundaries, but they are not written on 
the desert floor. There are no lighted markers or street signs, no 
AWACS or electronic displays of where everyone is. The Army gave 
Sergeant Fielder's unit a light bulb taped inside a Coke can, visible 
only through night vision sights, as a friendly identification device. 

I was responsible for more than 1,000 men who were spread 
across miles of desert in combat. I did what I thought was best to 
protect those men with the information I had. We made a tragic 
error and I am eternally sorry. 

Mr. Chairman, this concludes my remarks and I am prepared to 
answer your questions. 

Senator Thompson. Colonel Daly, where are you presently as- 
signed? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, I am assigned to the Pentagon in the Office 
of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans. I am in the 
Training Directorate. 

Senator Thompson. Are you currently on a promotion list to the 
grade of full Colonel? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir, I am. 

[Addendum at Exhibit 39(a)] 

Senator Thompson. Was the attack on Sergeant Fielder's unit 
the only combat that you personally participated in during the Per- 
sian Gulf War? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir. 

Senator THOMPSON. When you were briefed in preparation for 
the attack on the airfield, the investigation revealed that you were 



40 

told about the possible presence of American forces in the area. 
Why did you not share that information with the troops under your 
command? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, I do not believe I was told that there were 
friendly forces in the area. My recollection 

Senator Thompson. The possible presence of American forces in 
the area. 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, may I have a moment? Thank you. 

[Pause.] 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, I do not recall that I had a conversation about 
possible friendly forces. There was— I do recall the conversations 
about the buffer zone that was on the Regimental Command net. 
I do recall that that conversation went on for an extended period 
of time, but from my view and vantage point, that did not appear 
to be a conversation that was held because there were friendly 
forces there or that the 1st Armored Division had been where you 
have shown on the maps. 

[Addendum at Exhibit 39(b)] 

Senator THOMPSON. Let me perhaps refresh your memory a bit. 
I do not know if you have seen these reports, but Colonel Starr told 
the Army investigators that he did tell you about the possibility of 
American forces in the area. General Griffith told Army investiga- 
tors that he informed the 3rd ACR leadership about the presence 
of American supply trains in the area. Do you recall either of those 
notifications from either of those gentlemen? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, I do not. The supply trains discussion and 
the — what was the other one? I am sorry. 

Senator THOMPSON. Colonel Starr? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Colonel Starr, thank you. 

Senator Thompson. Simply the possibility of American forces in 
the area. 

Lt. Col. Daly. No, sir. I thought I was being sent into an area 
that contained Iraqi forces. I thought my squadron was well to the 
lead of all other American forces in that area of the desert. 

Senator THOMPSON. You stated that you recall discussions about 
the boundary line. Were you aware of the fact that Colonel Starr 
had tried to get a buffer zone so that you could operate south of 
the original boundary line? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson. Were you aware of the fact that that request 
was denied? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir, I am aware of that. 

Senator Thompson. On two different occasions? 

Lt. Col. Daly. From the testimony that I have seen since, I am 
aware of that, yes, sir. 

Senator THOMPSON. What is your understanding of the signifi- 
cance of a boundary line such as that? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, a boundary line is a graphical control measure 
that is designed, as the GAO described earlier today, to try to keep 
two forces apart. However, when we were attacking into an area 
in combat, even though you have an objective drawn on the ground, 
your purpose is to go after the enemy force. 

Senator Thompson. So you were aware of the fact that there was 
a boundary line and that the reason for the boundary line was to 



41 

keep the 3rd ACR from firing on the 1st Armored Division and vice 
versa? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson. So that, in and of itself, would indicate at 
least the possibility of American forces south of the boundary line? 
You were aware that the 1st Armored Division 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir. 

Senator THOMPSON [continuing]. Were operating south of the 
boundary line, then? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir, south of the boundary line, but, sir, in 
my understanding of this, and I probably need to describe this, I 
understood that the 1st Armored Division, as we had all moved 
north, that the 1st Armored Division had turned to the right and 
was off in this direction, while we had come up and moved this 
way. I viewed that as there was a sizeable gap. I now know from 
the various histories that have been drawn that 1st Armored Divi- 
sion was out like this, but I did not know that at the time, sir. 

Senator Thompson. But you knew that they were south of the 
Third? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir, well to the south. 

Senator Thompson. And you knew that the request for the buffer 
zone had been made on two different occasions and that had been 
denied on two different occasions, is that correct? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir. 

[Addendum at Exhibit 39(c)! 

Senator Thompson. According to the GAO report, witnesses on 
the scene heard you tell Colonel Starr before you fired that you had 
seen an American-made M548 vehicle. Since you knew, apparently, 
that it was American-made, did you allow for the possibility that 
perhaps Americans were in it? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, I knew it was American — I thought it was 
American-made. If you listen to the tape, and I say if you listen — 
if you read the GAO report where they have described this tape, 
even after the fatal shots were fired, you can see that the people 
on the ground still thought those were enemy soldiers in front of 
us. All of the people on the ground thought that. 

[Addendum at Exhibit 39(d)] 

Senator THOMPSON. Of course, all of the people on the ground did 
not know what you knew, did they? 

Lt. Col. DALY. No, sir, I do not think that is correct. I know that 
it has been characterized that everyone did not know what I knew, 
but my understanding was that we had briefed everyone, that we 
had given the operations order, that graphics had been provided, 
that everyone did, in fact, know. 

[Addendum at Exhibit 39(e)] 

Senator Thompson. You heard Bo Friesen testify 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson [continuing]. A few minutes ago that he cer- 
tainly did not know that anyone had identified the vehicles as 
American-made. 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, if you again look at that tape, you will see 
that Bo Friesen had turned off his radio, the one that listened to 
the squadron command net. That is a critical piece of information, 
because Bo could no longer hear directly what was going on. His 



42 

XO, if you also look at that tape, identified as Black Three, seems 
to know what was going on. 

Senator THOMPSON. Are you saying that you, or someone under 
your direction, put that on the radio, the fact that American vehi- 
cles had been identified? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, I do not know. I cannot answer 

Senator Thompson. Are you aware of anyone else who will come 
forward and state that that was the radio, that they heard it, that 
they were aware of it? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, without looking at all of the evidence that has 
been provided — not provided, all of the evidence that has been col- 
lected, all of the testimony from all of the different people who both 
the GAO and the Army took testimony from, no, I cannot say that. 

[Addendum at Exhibit 39(f)] 

Senator THOMPSON. There are certain people who have reviewed 
all the testimony that has been provided and I think it is fair to 
say that 

Lt. Col. Gerstenlauer. Senator, I believe what he is trying to 
say is that he could not review it all because it has not all been 
provided to him. 

Senator THOMPSON. Would you identify yourself, please? 

Lt. Col. Gerstenlauer. My name is Lieutenant Colonel 
Gerstenlauer. I am the Regional Defense Counsel from the United 
States Army Trial Defense Service and I have been detailed to rep- 
resent Colonel Daly because of the Army investigation into this 
matter, which has criminal consequences or at least the potential 
for criminal consequences for him. 

As part of that representation, I have tried to obtain the informa- 
tion that makes up the basis for the GAO reports, makes up the 
basis for the Army Inspector General reports, and so forth. Because 
of the graciousness of the Comptroller General himself, we were 
able to get some documents from the GAO yesterday, but prior to 
that, they denied our requests. So Colonel Daly is at a decided dis- 
advantage at this hearing, sir. 

Senator Thompson. I am asking basically from your vantage 
point. Are you or are you not saying that you put that information 
on the radio and that you informed all the people under your com- 
mand there of the fact that you and others had identified Amer- 
ican-made vehicles? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, I do not remember. 

Senator THOMPSON. Let us get back to the boundary line situa- 
tion for a minute. Were you aware when Friesen reached his posi- 
tion there, as indicated on the chart, which, as we know now, is 
well south of the boundary line, were you aware of the fact that 
Friesen was over the boundary line, south of the boundary line at 
that point, when he first saw the engineers? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, I do not know that I recall that he was south 
of the boundary line. 

Senator Thompson. Did you know, when you proceeded south, 
when the shots were first fired and you proceeded south, did you 
know that you were proceeding south of the boundary line? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, I do not recall whether I did or I did not, be- 
cause at that point, I had been sent south through that fenced-in 
area. The green line that you see, Colonel Starr had told me to go 



43 

down to that point. Colonel Starr — and I am not sure exactly where 
he was on the map. I see where this chart has him, and I will ac- 
cept that as true, but Colonel Starr had told me to send I Troop 
into that area and to go south myself. 

Senator THOMPSON. What was that last comment, please, sir? I 
missed that. 

Lt. Col. Daly. How far back should I go, sir? I am sorry. 

Senator THOMPSON. Just the last sentence. Someone told you to 
go south yourself? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir. Colonel Starr directed me to go south 
into — me, personally, to go down to that point. 

Senator Thompson. He did not direct you to go south of the 
boundary, though, did he, Colonel Daly? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir, he did. He directed me to go into the 
fenced-in area. 

Senator Thompson. Were you ever aware of where the boundary 
line was? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir. I was aware that it was the 50 grid line. 

Senator Thompson. And Colonel Daly directed you to go south 
of the boundary line, which was 

Lt. Col. Daly. Colonel Starr did, sir. 

Senator THOMPSON. Starr, which was contrary to previous frag- 
mentary order, as I understand it, is that correct? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir, but that is the nature of a fragmentary 
order. It is evolving. 

Senator Thompson. This was because you had encountered the 
enemy, I take it, is that why he made the change in the order? 

Lt. Col. Daly. His initial reason was because he — I am now say- 
ing what I think his original reason was, sir, and I am speculating. 
I do not know. Colonel Starr told me to go into the fenced-in area. 
My speculation is that we had come across something we had not 
expected to see and he had sent me in to determine what it was. 

Senator Thompson. After you arrived at the scene, and I am 
talking about now where you were at the time the fatal shots were 
fired, did you personally observe any return fire from Lieutenant 
Wessels' unit? 

Lt. Col. Daly. No, sir, I did not. I had had that reported and I 
had questioned it. Again, as you see in the GAO tape, Black Six 
and Black Three have a conversation about my asking those ques- 
tions. 

[Addendum at Exhibit 39(g)] 

Senator THOMPSON. There was already a cease fire in effect when 
you arrived, is that correct? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, a cease fire is a term that has been used in 
a very broad sense. We had told Captain Friesen to stop his unit 
from firing, that is correct, but it was within my responsibility to 
change that as I saw the situation required. 

Senator Thompson. So, yet, you ordered your gunner to fire 
without first being fired upon, is that correct? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, as we came down, I received reports that I 
Troop had been fired upon. I came upon the scene 

Senator THOMPSON. Prior to the cease fire? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Prior to the cease fire. I came upon the scene and 
I Troop was in front of these — this burning building that was on 



44 

the ground. That turned out to be a trailer that had been fired into 
as part of the warning shots that are discussed in the GAO report. 
That — everything seemed to be held up then. I came down on the 
scene. I had brought with me not the whole command group but 
my S3. I sent for another vehicle. 

Senator Thompson. How many vehicles were with you? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Two. I then sent for the Psy Ops team that we 
had with us and had them play tapes that I understood were in 
Iraqi to tell Iraqis to give up. Then— nothing happened. Then peo- 
ple started moving around 

Senator THOMPSON. How much time are we talking about, now? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, I 

Senator THOMPSON. From the time you arrived, let us say, on the 
scene until the time the fatal shots were fired? 

Lt. Col. DALY. Sir, I cannot answer that. I know what I thought. 
I thought it was about, from the time I got down there, 20 to 30 
minutes. 

Senator THOMPSON. You know now it was much shorter than 
that, I take it? 

[Pause.] 

Senator Thompson. GAO has testified that from the 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, did you want me to answer that last one? I 
am sorry. 

Senator Thompson. Yes. Go ahead. 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, I know now that it most probably is much 
shorter than that. In my personal recollection of it, it still seems 
like a very long time, but as Bo Friesen described, time takes on 
a new dimension, a time warp, if you will. It seemed longer. 

Senator Thompson. I believe the GAO earlier testified that the 
time that elapsed from the first shot to the last shot was 7 min- 
utes, 15 seconds. Did you hear that testimony from their investiga- 
tion? 

Lt. Col. DALY. Yes, sir, I did. 

[Addendum at Exhibit 39(h)] 

Senator THOMPSON. And, of course, when the first shot was filed, 
you were still north of the boundary line? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson. How long did it take you to travel from the 
northern position to your ultimate position, do you recall, or what 
the distance was? Perhaps that would be easier to estimate. 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, I am influenced — I have to tell you, I am in- 
fluenced by the testimony that Major Martin gave to GAO, which 
I saw for the first time last night. He said that it took about 10 
minutes to get down there. That seems about right to me. We did 
not floor the accelerator and speed down there. We moved delib- 
erately. 

Senator THOMPSON. When you arrived, or during your position- 
ing yourself down to your final position there, did you contact Cap- 
tain Friesen, who was in charge, to get his assessment of the situa- 
tion? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, I was constantly talking to Captain Friesen's 
Executive Officer on the radio, because I believed that he was 
using the system that the Army uses, the communications system 
that the Army uses with the Ml tank. He had in that tank a radio 



45 

that was capable of two-way communication and a receiver which 
was only receiving. 

The way that Captain Friesen operated his troop, with my bless- 
ing, is that he was on the troop command net, talking to his subor- 
dinates. He listened to my command net and could hear what I was 
saying. If he had a message directly for me, he passed it through 
his Executive Officer. However, if you read the tape, Captain 
Friesen chose to break that system and turn off his receiver. 

[Addendum at Exhibit 39(i)] 

Senator THOMPSON. I think that that is probably very much in 
dispute, Colonel Daly, but be that as it may, did you request an 
assessment of the situation from Captain Friesen? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir. 

Senator THOMPSON. And what was his 

Lt. Col. Daly. I think if you look at the tape again, you will see 
that Colonel Daly, or Thunder Six, was asking for assessments al- 
most continuously. 

[Addendum at Exhibit 39(j)] 

Senator Thompson. And what was Captain Friesen's response to 
you as to what the situation was there on the ground? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, I do not recall. 

Senator Thompson. You do not recall what he told you about the 
situation there as you arrived? 

Lt. Col. Daly. I do not recall that specific point, no, sir, I do not. 

Senator THOMPSON. Going into a situation there was a cease fire, 
when, as I recall, the order that you were operating under was not 
to fire unless fired upon anyway. 

Lt. Col. Daly. No, sir. I was going into an area where my sol- 
diers had stopped firing because I had determined that they had 
"pumped out," as Captain Friesen described it in the tape, they had 
fired more rounds than I thought necessary at the time, causing 
this building to burst into flames. 

[Addendum at Exhibit 39(k)] 

Senator Thompson. And, of course, you were also under orders 
from Colonel Starr not to fire again until you had verified that it 
was, in fact, the enemy that you were dealing with, were you not? 

Lt. Col. Daly. No, sir. 

Senator Thompson. That was never a part of a fragmentary 
order that you were operating under? 

Lt. Col. DALY. No, sir, I do not believe it was. 

Senator Thompson. Reading here from page 41 of the GAO re- 
port, it says, "According to Colonel Starr's gunner, Colonel Starr 
twice told Lieutenant Colonel Daly to confirm that the target was 
enemy before firing, and Lieutenant Colonel Daly acknowledged 
this order at least once." 

Lt. Col. DALY. Sir, I am sorry. Where do you see that? 

Senator Thompson. Page 41 

Lt. Col. Daly. Check. 

Senator Thompson [continuing] . Of the GAO report. 

Lt. Col. DALY. Yes, sir. About how far down? I am sorry. 

Senator THOMPSON. The first paragraph, the last part of the first 
paragraph. 

Lt. Col. Daly. OK, I see it, sir. I am sorry. Sir, in retrospect, I 
do not recall it. It has been a long time. 



46 

Senator THOMPSON. That is a pretty significant thing, though, is 
it not? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir, it is. 

Senator THOMPSON. It is a fair thing that the troops that you are 
firing on are, in fact enemy troops. So what we have established, 
apparently, is that as you moved south there, you were aware that 
there was a boundary line. You were aware that the 1st AD was 
south of that boundary line. You had identified an American vehi- 
cle. And I take it that it is somewhat in dispute as to whether or 
not you were actually told that there was a possibility of American 
forces in the area, although we have two witnesses that we have 
given to you who say that you were told that. 

So those were the circumstances under which you arrived, and 
now what you are saying is that you did not get an assessment 
from Captain Friesen as to what the situation was there and pro- 
ceeded to allow the engineers to be fired upon at that point, is that 
correct? 

Lt. Col. Daly. No, sir, it is not correct. 

Senator THOMPSON. Where am I wrong? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, the major point tfyat I disagree with you on 
was that I was not getting an assessment from Captain Friesen. I 
viewed that I was getting a constant assessment, fed to me through 
his troop, of what was going on. 

[Addendum at Exhibit 39(1)] 

Senator Thompson. Now his assessment today, as you heard, 
was that he had the situation totally under control, that even if 
they had been Iraqi troops, there would have been no justification 
for firing on them, that he could have taken them out immediately, 
instantly, at any time. That was his assessment today. Now, are 
you saying that he told you anything differently there at the time 
that you arrived at the fatal site? 

Lt. Col. Daly. I am saying he did not tell me that, sir. 

Senator THOMPSON. What did he tell you? He is saying, of course, 
that according to his testimony today, that he did not tell you any- 
thing because he was not requested. In fact, he did not know you 
were coming. In fact, when you arrived, he almost shot you. And, 
in fact, when two people got out of your Bradley vehicle, he almost 
shot them. 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson. Now, that is what he is saying today. This 
is your opportunity to tell us where he is wrong. 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, I do not believe that he had told me that he 
thought there were friendlies there. I believe when you look at 
the 

[Addendum at Exhibit 39(m)] 

Senator Thompson. I did not ask you that. He never said 

Lt. Col. Daly. Rephrase the question, please, sir. 

Senator Thompson. He never said that he thought they were 
friendlies. 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson. What he said was that he never was asked 
for an assessment, that his assessment was that he had the situa- 
tion totally under control, there was no justification for firing on 
these people, even if they were Iraqis, that he did not know that 



47 

you were coming down there to his position at all, and that he 
never had the opportunity to give his reason for maintaining the 
cease fire. He also said that after the fatal shots were fired, that 
the other troops there on the ground were irate and some talking 
about taking action against you and that sort of thing. 

So what their state of mind was there at the time apparently is 
clear. What I am asking you is, in what way is that correct, if you 
got an assessment from him, the individual who was in charge, 
what your recollection is as to what that assessment was and how 
it differs from what he says it was today. 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, that is a whole handful of questions. I will try 
to break it down. The first I would like to talk about is he did not 
know I was coming down to the area. Again, going back to this 
tape, his XO knew I was coming down to the area. His XO knew 
I was in the area, on the site, because he has said, frankly, imme- 
diately after the shots were fired, the XO immediately identified 
that I was there 

Senator THOMPSON. I am listening. 

Lt. Col. Daly. OK, sir. He had immediately identified that I was 
there. 

The second thing is, I come back to the assessment. Did I ask 
him for an assessment? If you look at the tape, there is discussion 
of asking for situation reports. Sir, that is asking for an assess- 
ment. That is what that phrase gets one commander from another. 
That is why we operate on what we call a command net, which is 
only commanders operating on that net, commanders and their 

Senator THOMPSON. Excuse me, and I do not want to cut you off. 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson. This tape, we read the tape, and it is very 
fragmentary. I suppose that a knowledgeable person can make 
more out of it than a lay person can. Apparently there was one 
clear indication here that at least one of the soldiers there, in de- 
scribing your actions, just said, "Just wanted to get in some shots." 
That was his assessment of your performance there. 

But let us set aside the tape just a minute. I am asking about 
your recollection. Let us make sure that we are clear on that. The 
Captain stated that he was never asked or never gave an assess- 
ment as to what he described here today as having the situation 
under control, and I am just simply asking, from your recollection, 
is that accurate or not? 

Lt. Col. Daly. From my recollection, I was asking him for situa- 
tion reports as we were coming down. I did not have him switch 
from his radio to my radio because I wanted him to maintain con- 
trol of his unit. 

[Addendum at Exhibit 39(n)] 

Senator Thompson. You think the tape reflects that, your con- 
versation with him? 

Lt. Col. Daly. No, it does not, sir. That is another thing. The 
tape is not of my command net. The tape is of Captain Friesen's 
command net, so all I can go with is what they are saying there. 

Senator Thompson. It is a little 

Lt. Col. Daly. Can I add one other thing, sir? I am sorry. 

Senator Thompson. Sure. 



48 

Lt. Col. Daly. And again, I do not mean to interrupt you, either, 
sir. 

Senator Thompson. No, go ahead. 

Lt. Col. Daly. There is a fundamental difference in the way peo- 
ple remember this. The people who were in my operations center 
on my equivalent of Black Three, my XO, my fire support officer, 
my S2, the testimony seems to indicate that they knew that we 
were going down there for enemy and that we had had those kinds 
of conversations. 

Senator Thompson. Why did you allow your gunner to fire? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, I allowed my gunner to fire because we, at 
that point, had been held up, again, for what I viewed as a long 
time. The soldiers on the ground in front of us, the combatants on 
the ground in front of us, were not surrendering. It looked like they 
were either going to flee or were going to move to our flank. It 
looked like they were not — again, and I am repeating myself— it 
looked like they were not surrendering. Combatants either surren- 
der or they fight, and that is why I ordered him to fire, sir. 

Senator THOMPSON. So you saw, what, what turned out to be one 
soldier fleeing, is that 

Lt. Col. Daly. No, sir. I saw several soldiers moving around in 
front of me. We 

Senator Thompson. Of course, by that time, one was wounded. 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir. And although I have tried not to be influ- 
enced by everybody else's testimony and tried to rely on my mem- 
ory, that becomes very difficult. My gunner had a great deal of ex- 
perience in identification of other enemy forces. He was very good 
at what he did, in my assessment. 

Senator THOMPSON. Very good at identification? 

Lt. Col. Daly. I thought so, yes, sir. 

Senator THOMPSON. At your northern position, you were able to 
make out an American vehicle, an M548, and yet in your southern 
position, it still did not appear to you that they might be American 
troops, so your gunner did not turn out to be very good at identify- 
ing, did he? 

Lt. Col. DALY. Yes, sir. We had a hard time with identification, 
sir. Part of that was because of this large fire that was in front of 
us. We have night sights that have been described to you as you 
cannot see certain things through those sights, but when it sud- 
denly turns to daylight in front of you with this large fire, it be- 
comes more difficult. This was people moving around a bonfire, if 
you will, sir. 

[Addendum at Exhibit 39(o)] 

Senator THOMPSON. They were trying to avoid being shot, were 
they not? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson. And there was not really a flanking move- 
ment. You were not concerned about being outflanked by those in- 
dividuals, were you? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir, we were. We saw within the circle of this 
fire just a few people, but still, in the back of my mind, there was 
the possibility that there were more people out there. If you read 
the testimony of Sergeant Woborski, he very eloquently describes 
this individual moving to the flank. 



49 

[Addendum at Exhibit 39(p)] 

Senator THOMPSON. An individual moving to the flank? How 
many vehicles were on the site there at the time? You brought two 
with you? 

Lt. Col. Daly. I brought two with me. 

Senator Thompson. How many 

Lt. Col. Daly. I would guess there were about ten vehicles there. 

Senator THOMPSON. How many tanks? 

Lt. Col. Daly. I only remember the one, Captain Friesen's. 

Senator THOMPSON. And you were concerned about this individ- 
ual flanking you. Of course, you have heard Captain Friesen's testi- 
mony of his assessment, of course, again, totally under control, but 
you did not have the benefit of his assessment at the time you al- 
lowed your gunner to fire, did you? 

Lt. Col. Daly. I thought that I had had the benefit of his assess- 
ment, because I thought I was getting it from his Executive Officer. 
But no, had he given what we have heard today and understand 
now, no. I still would contend that I had his assessment, or what 
I thought was his assessment, because I was asking him to tell me 
what the situation was and he was telling me the situation. Part 
of that situation report is telling that kind of thing. 

[Addendum at Exhibit 39(q)] 

Senator Thompson. What did he tell you that was involved in 
your decision to allow the engineers to be fired upon? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, when we went to the south, he told me — this 
was before I was to the south — he told me that he had this force 
and he wanted to fire warning shots. 

Senator Thompson. He fired the warning shots and you consid- 
ered 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, if you would excuse me, I need to correct my- 
self. 

Senator THOMPSON. Go ahead. 

Lt. Col. Daly. He asked to fire at them. I specified that he would 
fire warning shots. He then fired the warning shots. The expression 
in here is "pumped a few rounds into the building," which in my 
book, I would not characterize that as a warning. That is firing di- 
rectly at them. 

Senator Thompson. But you thought that was excessive? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson. And after that, the cease fire was in effect. 

Lt. Col. Daly. I told him to stop firing, yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson. And you came down, and without any fur- 
ther conversation, you allowed your gunner to 

Lt. Col. DALY. No, sir, not without further conversation. There 
was considerable conversation. There was 

Senator Thompson. With the Captain? 

Lt. Col. Daly. With the Captain's unit. The Captain listening in 
on my command net while I have called down the Psy Ops team. 
There are discussions back and forth between me and my S3. 

Senator Thompson. What did the unit tell you that caused you 
to fire, if anything? I mean, I assume 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, I 

Senator Thompson. Let me see if we can cut through this. Let 
me ask it another way. You have heard testimony here today from 



50 

the Captain, who said, yes, they fired a warning shot. Yes, they 
stopped. He said that one had been wounded, that they had the sit- 
uation totally under control. Now, this is an individual who did not 
have the information that you had that looks like they very well 
might be American troops down there. But even if they were just 
Iraqis, he said he had it totally under control. There had been no 
justification for firing even if they had been Iraqis. 

Now, you heard his testimony here today, and he is still here. 
Regardless of what some intermediary said or the fact that he 
could receive but could not transmit but one of his people could 
transmit, where is he wrong? How is he telling us something dif- 
ferent today than what you recall he or his person or someone you 
thought representing him was telling you there early that morn- 
ing? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, we had fired warning shots. He had reported 
that he had received fire. Now, we know that is wrong. I think you 
and the GAO have adequately described, and certainly, when Lieu- 
tenant Wessels so movingly spoke today, spoke about the fire, or 
not having fired. Sir, I believe that. 

But, the fact of the matter is that we had received a report that 
my unit had been fired upon. I went down on the scene. There was 
this large fire. It appeared that we were held up. There were con- 
versations that I do not remember what exactly was said. And, I 
was receiving reports from my gunner that it looks like this is a 
dangerous situation. It looks like this guy is moving off to our 
flank. These people are not surrendering, and so he asked me for, 
can I fire at their feet? 

[Addendum at Exhibit 39(r)] 

Senator Thompson. So you were relying on your gunner for this 
information? He requested 

Lt. Col. Daly. I was relying on my gunner, but I was also looking 
through my sight, standing up, looking out of the top of the turret 
with my eyes. So it is a combination of inputs. And, yes, I was re- 
ceiving inputs from I Troop. I do not remember 

Senator Thompson. So getting back to my question, I take it 
there is nothing, basically, that you disagree with Captain 
Friesen's testimony? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Oh, no, sir. 

Senator THOMPSON. That is a factual 

Lt. Col. Gerstenlauer. I think that is a mischaracterization, 
Senator. He has clearly made some distinctions here. 

Senator Thompson. I asked him if there was anything he dis- 
agreed with, and I got a rendition of- 



Lt. Col. Gerstenlauer. You said that- 



Senator THOMPSON. Let me finish. I got a rendition of his assess- 
ment of what happened that night, which is pertinent testimony 
but is not an answer to my question. He said he saw the situation 
like that. He had never had an opportunity, he was never asked 
for his assessment, and he never gave his assessment, and you 
showed up and made a determination to break the cease fire and 
allow these people to be fired upon. Now, I am just asking you 
where he is wrong. 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, he is wrong in that he did — excuse me a sec- 
ond. 



51 

[Pause.] 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, the major point that we are disagreeing on is 
whether or not he was giving me assessments. I do not disagree, 
now knowing that he turned off his radio, that he was not giving 
me assessments. I can tell you, I thought I was receiving them be- 
cause we were operating in the normal way that a combat oper- 
ation would operate. 

Senator Thompson. What is the source of your information that 
he turned off his radio? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, it is the GAO report, in the tape. 

Senator THOMPSON. The tape? Can you tell that from the tape? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir. 

Senator THOMPSON. All right. 

Lt. Col. Daly. Let me find it, sir. 

[Pause.] 

Lt. Col. Daly. As we are looking 

Senator THOMPSON. As we are looking, we will move on and 
maybe counsel can find that as we go ahead. 

Lt. Col. Daly. We can do that. 

Senator Thompson. After the incident, you told Captain Friesen 
that, according to the testimony, that "We have to keep this under 
our hats." Is that correct? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, as I told General Halley, I do not remember 
those words. But, I do remember that I made a conscious effort, 
which may have been misunderstood, to try to keep all of the wit- 
nesses from — not collaborating, but — from influencing one another 
in their renditions of what happened. I knew from the moment it 
happened, from the moment Captain Venezia reported to me that 
they were Americans and I reported to the Regimental Com- 
mander, I knew that there was going to be an investigation and I 
did not want that investigation tainted. 

Senator THOMPSON. Do you recall using those particular words? 

Lt. Col. Daly. No, sir. I have just said, I do not recall it. If I did, 
it was a poor choice of words. 

Senator Thompson. How could, "Let us keep this under our hat," 
be confused with not tainting the investigation? 

Lt. Col. DALY. I am sorry 

Senator THOMPSON. Do you recall what you did say, exactly? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, I am sorry. I have to ask you to repeat the 
question. 

Senator Thompson. You do not recall whether or not you said, 
"Let us keep this under our hat," and you say your motivation was 
you did not want the investigation tainted. If that was your moti- 
vation, is there any possibility that you could have said, "Let us 
keep this under our hat"? I mean, is that any way consistent with 
making for a pure investigation? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Obviously, it is not, sir. If I used those words, and 
I cannot tell you whether I used them or I did not use them — sir, 
I want to be very clear. I had no intention of in any way hiding 
what went on that night. 

Senator Thompson. Did you receive a Bronze Star medal for 
your actions during the Persian Gulf War? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir, I did. 



52 

Senator THOMPSON. Did your Commander, Colonel Starr, rec- 
ommend you for that award? 

Lt. Col. DALY. Sir, I am not sure I know who recommended me 
for the award, and it was not for the Desert Storm War, it was for 
Desert Shield/Desert Storm. It was a service award for the period 
of time. Colonel Starr did pin that award on in a ceremony at Fort 
Bliss. 

Senator THOMPSON. And I believe in that ceremony they read a 
narrative that accompanies your medal recommendation, and I 
want to read from that narrative. "Lieutenant Colonel John Daly 
has distinguished himself by both meritorious and valorous actions. 
The most significant demonstration of valor occurred on 26-27 Feb- 
ruary 1991, during a night attack of an enemy airfield. Lieutenant 
Colonel Daly calmly and systematically sorted through the confu- 
sion and directed the actions of I Troop in clearing the objectives. 
In all phases of this operation, Lieutenant Colonel Daly's service 
has been replete with valorous and meritorious action." 

That narrative describes the attack on Sergeant Fielder's unit, is 
that correct? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, the reason we are back-and-forthing here is 
that this is the first time I have seen this. 

Senator THOMPSON. Was that language not read at the time of 
the medal ceremony? 

Lt. Col. Daly. No, sir, I do not think it was. I was not given an 
award for valorous service. This is not what I have seen on the cer- 
tificate that I was given, and I do not think this is what was read. 

Senator THOMPSON. The certificate, of course, is a certificate, but 
the narrative accompanying it is more or less the reasons for the 
award. 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, the process that happens with the rec- 
ommending of an award is somebody writes this up, a clerk types 
it, it goes through an approval process, which I will not go through 
right now, but it goes through an approval process, and all that I 
see at the end state of it is a certificate, and in some cases, only 
a set of orders. 

Senator THOMPSON. This is the narrative that the Army provided 
that accompanied your Bronze Star. 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, the Army has not provided it to me, to my 
knowledge. 

Senator Thompson. Are you surprised to learn that you received 
your medal, at least in part, because of the action that happened 
with regard to the incident we have been talking about? 

Lt. Col. DALY. I am absolutely shocked, yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson. Knowing now that your award — assuming, 
for the moment, that your award was based, at least in part, on 
this friendly fire incident, do you think that that award was de- 
served? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, the award was not for the friendly fire inci- 
dent, and no, sir, I do not think so. 

Senator Thompson. Let us make sure you are clear now. What 
did you say? You do not 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, I do not think that the Bronze Star that I am 
wearing today was for that incident. 



L 



53 

Senator Thompson. I notice it was awarded on May 2. We have 
the award itself there, and part of that language says, "for excep- 
tionally meritorious achievement in support of actions against a 
hostile force." 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir, and I think Saddam Hussein's army was 
a hostile force and I think I did participate in the operations that 
were responsible for defeating him. 

Senator Thompson. So that any soldier 

Lt. Col. Daly. And when Colonel Starr gave me that award, he 
made it very clear to me that it was a service award for from the 
1st of October — I think it was the 1st of October — when we went 
to Saudi Arabia through the end, until our arrival back at Fort 
Bliss. I do not view this as that particular evening or morning in 
any way. 

Senator THOMPSON. So any soldier who participated in the 
Desert Storm campaign would have been entitled to the Bronze 
Star? 

Lt. Col. Daly. If his commander determined that he thought that 
that service was meritorious, yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson. Well, if all that was involved in it was being 
against Saddam Hussein, how did your actions differ from anyone 
else's? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, that is for others to determine. You are asking 
me to defend why my commander gave me an award and I do not 
think I should do that. 

Senator THOMPSON. I notice here that your award was awarded 
on May 2, 1991, which is the same day that an award was given 
to Sergeant Kenneth Shumate — do you remember him? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir, I do. 

Senator Thompson. He was in your Bradley vehicle, was he not? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir, he was. 

Senator THOMPSON. It was also the same day that the award was 
given to Captain Patrick Venezia. 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson. Do you recall him? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson. He was also in your vehicle, was he not? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir, he was. 

Senator Thompson. Those were the two individuals who Captain 
Friesen said proceeded in front of his position and they almost 
shot, is that correct? Those are the individuals he was identifying? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Those are the two individuals, yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson. So they were both awarded Bronze Stars 
with "V" for valor, which is awarded to any soldier who distin- 
guished himself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service in 
connection with military operations against an armed enemy. 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson. You recommended, of course, Captain 
Venezia yourself, right? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, I would have to see the document you have. 

Senator Thompson. OK. 

[Pause.] 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir. I recommended Captain Venezia and Ser- 
geant Shumate for a valorous award because I believed that when 



54 

they dismounted that vehicle and went forward to meet people we 
thought were the enemy, even after — well, people that we thought 
were the enemy. I thought that was brave. 

Senator THOMPSON. Of course, the GAO had a different perspec- 
tive of that, did they not? They thought it was a dereliction of duty 
for you to send a couple of individuals out there in front of their 
own troops, unidentified, and putting them in harm's way. You re- 
call that from the GAO report? 

Lt. Col. Daly. That is the GAO's assessment, yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson. According to your language here, in rec- 
ommending this Venezia, it says, "for exceptionally meritorious 
heroism in the face of hostile fire during a regimental attack to 
seize the airfield in the early hours of 27 February 1991. Captain 
Venezia distinguished himself by volunteering to dismount and 
take enemy prisoner personnel. With reported enemy fire and 
burning vehicles to his front, Captain Venezia dismounted, rushed 
forward of friendly vehicles to take prisoners." Was this before or 
after the fatal shots were fired, when he rushed forward to take 
prisoners? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, it was after the fatal shots were fired. 

Senator THOMPSON. "He was responsible for diffusing the situa- 
tion, restoring order, and saving the lives of at least four American 
soldiers." 

Lt. Col. Daly. As Captain Friesen has pointed out, we had a lot 
of firepower there, sir. We could have fired more rounds than we 
did. Captain Venezia, when he went forward, did so to try to — we 
sent him forward to try to diffuse the situation. 

Senator Thompson. You were the one doing the firing, Colonel. 
Was the Captain keeping you from continuing to fire? Is that what 
you are saying? 

Lt. Col. Daly. No, sir. He helped me in my assessment of what 
was going on on the battlefield. He did something brave. We can 
now say, because these people were not the enemy, OK, that was 
not brave, but we thought it was a very brave thing to get out of 
that vehicle and go forward. 

Senator THOMPSON. You state here in his recommendation that 
he did so in the face of hostile fire. You knew at the time you wrote 
this award, of course, that he was not facing hostile fire. 

Lt. Col. Daly. No, sir, I did not know that he was not facing hos- 
tile fire. 

Senator THOMPSON. After you arrived on the scene, at any time 
did you see the people you were shooting at fire? 

Lt. Col. Daly. No, sir, I did not. 

Senator THOMPSON. So you are basing this on the hostile fire 
that you thought occurred, which we now know apparently did not 
ever occur, but you thought occurred back before you arrived at the 
scene? 

Lt. Col. Daly. I am basing it on the reports that I had received, 
sir. 

Senator Thompson. And back before he arrived at the scene? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson. So you recommended him for this medal, 
and, apparently, he, in turn, recommended Sergeant Shumate, who 
also departed from your vehicle. So the ones in your vehicle, you 



55 

recommended Venezia. Venezia recommended Shumate. And all of 
the awards, including yours and theirs, were awarded on the same 
day. Do you think that maybe your award might have had some- 
thing to do with that incident, in retrospect? 

Lt. Col. Daly. In retrospect, when Colonel Starr was pinning it 
on, he was very clear to me that it had nothing to do with the inci- 
dent. 

[Addendum at Exhibit 39(s)] 

Senator Thompson. Has your Bronze Star been revoked? 

Lt. Col. Daly. No, sir, it has not. 

Senator Thompson. Other men in your unit also received Bronze 
Stars for heroism, as we just mentioned, based on their actions 
during the attack on Sergeant Fielder's unit. Of course, we know 
that you recommended Captain Venezia. This recommendation 
commended Captain Venezia for saving the lives of four American 
soldiers. Would you describe again how he saved the lives of four 
American soldiers? 

Lt. Col. Daly. By determining that the people on the ground 
were Americans, he helped us not continue the fight there. 

Senator Thompson. Did he run out there and report back to 
you 

Lt. Col. Daly. Yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson [continuing] . That these were Americans? 

Lt. Col. Daly. He ran out. He saw what — he found what had 
happened. He ran back and talked to me. 

Senator Thompson. Did it ever occur to you to do that before you 
fired the fatal shots? 

Lt. Col. Daly. No, sir, it did not. 

Senator Thompson. Colonel, by recommending these two individ- 
uals who were with you — was anyone else with you in that Bradley 
vehicle? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, there was a driver in the vehicle, and I think 
that was all — they were the only people there. 

[Addendum at Exhibit 39(t)] ' 

Senator THOMPSON. Was your recommendation for this medal for 
Captain Venezia part of an attempt to get him to keep the lid on 
the situation? 

Lt. Col. Daly. No, sir, it was not, not in any way, shape, or form. 
I encouraged everyone there to tell the truth. 

Senator Thompson. Colonel, do you think, in retrospect, that you 
should have recommended a medal for someone who was involved 
in a friendly fire case? 

Lt. Col. DALY. Sir, in retrospect, I wish like hell that I had not. 
But, I still would say to you, this was a brave act that this man 
did, and I will leave it at that, sir. 

Senator THOMPSON. In your opinion as a military person, should 
medals ever be awarded for people who accidentally kill their fel- 
low soldiers in combat, regardless of bravery? 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, Captain Venezia did not do that. Captain 
Venezia and Sergeant Shumate were in the back of the vehicle and 
had nothing to do with it. 

Senator Thompson. Let me rephrase it. Should medals ever be 
recommended to anyone who is a part of a force that kills fellow 
American soldiers? 



56 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, I think that you need to evaluate the facts of 
each particular incident. You are asking me for a blanket state- 
ment and I am not willing to give that blanket statement, sir. 

Senator THOMPSON. All right, sir. I think those are all the ques- 
tions I have. 

Lt. Col. Daly. Sir, you had asked me earlier about the radio con- 
versation. 

Senator THOMPSON. Yes, sir. 

Lt. Col. Daly. On page 98, at the bottom of the page, next to the 
last line, Black Three says, "This is Three. Roger. Higher. 3rd 
Squadron Commander is aware. He just keeps asking for situation 
report." Black Six: "Roger. I cut the aux. off because there was too 
much confusion." 

Senator THOMPSON. All right, sir. Thank you very much. 

Lt. Col. DALY. Sir, you understand what an aux. is, do you not? 
It is the other radio. 

Senator THOMPSON. I think I understand. 

Lt. Col. DALY. Thank you, sir. 

Senator Thompson. Thank you. 

We have one other panel of witnesses, but I do think that a 
break would probably be in order right now. Why do we not recess 
until 2 p.m. 

[Recess.] 

Senator THOMPSON. The Subcommittee will come to order. 

The final witnesses today will be a panel of officials from the 
United States Army. I want to note for the record that the Sub- 
committee formally invited Army Secretary Togo West to testify at 
this hearing. However, an Army representative advised the Sub- 
committee that the Secretary would not be available today. We re- 
gret that Secretary West is not appearing before us. 

Testifying for the Army will be General Ronald H. Griffith, Vice 
Chief of Staff; Sara E. Lister, Assistant Secretary for Manpower 
and Reserve Affairs; and Major General Michael Nardotti, Judge 
Advocate General. 

As you know, we swear all witnesses who appear before this Sub- 
committee and I will ask all of you to rise and raise your right 
hands. 

Do you swear that the testimony you give before this Subcommit- 
tee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, 
so help you, God? 

General GRIFFITH. I do. 

Ms. Lister. I do. 

Major General NARDOTTI. I do. 

Senator Thompson. Thank you. 

Who desires to go first, or, Ms. Lister, are you the only one mak- 
ing a statement? 

Ms. Lister. I am the only one with a prepared statement, and 
I would like to submit it for the record, if I might, and summarize 
it briefly. 

Senator THOMPSON. So ordered. 

Ms. Lister. Thank you. 



57 

TESTIMONY OF SARA E. LISTER, 1 ASSISTANT SECRETARY, 
MANPOWER AND RESERVE AFFAIRS, UNITED STATES ARMY; 
ACCOMPANTED BY GENERAL RONALD H. GRIFFITH, VICE 
CHffiF OF STAFF, UNITED STATES ARMY; AND MAJOR GEN- 
ERAL MICHAEL NARDOTTI, THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GEN- 
ERAL, UNITED STATES ARMY 

Ms. Lister. Thank you for the opportunity to testify on behalf of 
the Department of the Army with respect to the tragic incident on 
the night of February 27, 1991, and the subsequent actions taken 
by the Army. 

As you noted, I am accompanied today by General Ron Griffith, 
who is now the Vice Chief of the Army but who was Inspector Gen- 
eral of the Army, and before that the commander of the 1st Ar- 
mored Division during the Persian Gulf War. He can speak with 
great knowledge of these events. 

I am also accompanied by Major General Mike Nardotti, who is 
the Judge Advocate General of the Army and who will be able to 
answer specific questions with respect to the regulations and proc- 
esses. 

First and most importantly, I would like to apologize on behalf 
of the Department of the Army to the parents of Sergeant Douglas 
Lance Fielder. I have great sympathy for them. I can assure you 
that the entire Army does. I know that it is hard enough for them 
to have lost a son, but even worse was the feeling that they have 
had that the Army had abandoned them. I want to assure them 
that the Army has never lost hold of this incident and we have 
made many mistakes. I said that in my prepared statement and I 
repeat it now to them. But we have never lost hold of the effort 
to find the truth and to bring this matter to resolution with both 
justice and compassion. 

Second, I want to commend the professionalism and thorough- 
ness of the GAO investigation. Shortly after I was sworn in as As- 
sistant Secretary of the Army, I attended a briefing given by the 
GAO to the Inspector General and a group of people who were pur- 
suing this tragic event. I was very impressed then. It was the first 
time the Army had heard the tapes. Everyone in that room was 
moved by them. I knew then that the GAO had already done a very 
impressive job, and reading the written report just confirmed my 
original belief. 

There are four issues that arose from this tragic event that I will 
discuss briefly, and then General Griffith would like to say a few 
words, if it is all right with you, and we will be ready to answer 
your questions. 

First of all, the investigations. I have no doubt that they were 
flawed, having read as much of them as I have. The first two AR 
15-6 investigations, really, they were one investigation in two 
parts because they were done by the same individual, a young cap- 
tain. They were flaws partly because of his junior status. It is not 
proper under the regulation to do an investigation of that kind 
with an officer who is junior to the commander being investigated. 
Nevertheless, because it was a wartime situation, that seemed the 
best answer. 



'The prepared statement of Ms. Lister appears on page 83. 



58 

What impressed me, going over the file, was the fact that the 
Army did not let the matter rest there. Questions were asked from 
the very beginning. Questions were asked by the commanders of 
those soldiers who were killed. General Griffith's superior, General 
Freddie Franks, wrote an extensive memorandum to General Luck 
which asked a whole series of questions, factual questions, because 
it was clear that the investigation had not gone far enough. 

A second investigation was conducted. That one, also, had prob- 
lems. It again appeared not to hold anyone responsible. The conclu- 
sions did not appear to be appropriate to the Army leadership. 
There again, we have in the record an extensive memorandum of 
questions which were to be followed up on by the Judge Advocate 
General of the Commander, Forces Command, who was the one 
with responsibility for determining what actions should be taken. 

Obviously, the GAO did a somewhat better job of finding all the 
facts than the Army did. However, the GAO report itself said, and 
I believe, looking at it, that there was enough there in the facts for 
the right conclusions to be drawn and for action to be taken on 
those facts. In fact, General Burba did issue letters of reprimand. 
He, getting responses, made some changes in his recommendations 
as to what would happen to the individuals involved, but that was 
not the end of the matter. 

Again, I can only state that the investigations were flawed, but 
all the facts were there in the end. The commanders who cared 
about their troops, who cared deeply about those who were killed, 
did continue to ask questions. 

Secondly, the casualty notification process. To speak frankly, 
that horrified me. It horrified me, in part, because even during this 
year when I have been with the Army, we have had some tragic 
accidents. Fortunately, we are not at war, so these were training 
accidents, and I know how much the Army cared about getting to 
the families fast with as much information as they had. So I was 
struck by what was clearly a bad process and bumbling on the part 
of those concerned. 

On looking at it all, it appears to me to be clear that it was not 
done intentionally. It was tragic. I would never want to have that 
happen to parents of any soldier killed in the line of duty again. 
Hopefully, with the help of the Congress, which passed some legis- 
lation, we have fixed the process so that it will not happen again. 
I know that in war, things sometimes get complicated, but here, I 
can only apologize again for what was clearly bad. Parents deserve 
to know the facts, even if they are not the whole facts, as soon as 
those in charge know them, and I believe that very strongly. 

Third, awards. This is something that strikes particularly close 
to home, because I am the one who received the letter from the In- 
spector General in August of this year suggesting that, in light 
with the GAO recommendations, that we look at awards that were 
given which appeared to be misstated, to put it in the best light. 
Awards were given, Bronze Stars with the "V" for valor, for events 
of that night. 

We sent the letter to the appropriate people to work, and the 
Army worked it. The Army did not work it fast enough, nor, at the 
time, did we understand exactly what was going on. It was only 
when I read myself the award recommendations, the narratives 



59 

that go with the awards, that I understood the seriousness of the 
problem. 

As you know, the Secretary of the Army revoked those awards 
because he did not quite understand where the process was at that 
time. I have since, on going through the files, seen that the soldiers 
who were given those awards were, indeed, soldiers who had done 
professional and sometimes brave things. These were not soldiers 
involved in the incident. 

They should never have gotten an award with the "V" for valor, 
because this was not an incident that happened under enemy fire, 
but it is quite possible that they deserved to be recognized for their 
service, especially there was, as I recall, an Army surgeon and 
some other people who helped with the wounded. The narratives 
were definitely wrong, but they did not see the narratives. The nar- 
ratives are written by other people who recommend them for the 
awards. 

So, there again, we are culpable. We are reviewing that, and we 
are also reviewing our processes. We need to be able to suspend 
awards when they are in question, instead of just revoking them. 
Suspending them means a soldier cannot wear them and they real- 
ly are not in a position to feel that the matter is closed, but it per- 
haps is somewhat fairer to the individuals involved. 

We are also changing the regulation, and this will take some 
time because we want to do it right, to ensure that when instruc- 
tions go out to the field in a wartime setting, that, number one, the 
field is reminded that the narrative must be accurate and must re- 
flect the facts, and second, that they be reminded that fratricide is 
never a kind of situation in which a Bronze Star with a "V" for 
valor should be awarded. 

There is another problem with awards and that is awards that 
were given to other soldiers, perhaps, in other fratricide incidents 
during the Persian Gulf War. We do not know much about that yet. 
That is still being looked at by the proper people, and, hopefully, 
we will have an answer to all questions about those other awards 
by the middle of August. 

The awards given to those in command are a different issue, and 
there we have the Commander of the Military District of Washing- 
ton, who is the Court Martial authority, looking at the issue of 
whether awards given were appropriate, as well as the matters 
that happened that night. 

Finally, I need to say a word about other personnel issues. There 
is only one officer who was personally involved in those incidents 
who is still on active duty. His actions are still under review, so 
it would be inappropriate for me to prejudice the decision making 
process. 

What I can say, however, is that anything with respect to the fu- 
ture of Lieutenant Colonel Daly and the Army is on hold. He has 
not been promoted. He has not attended Senior Service College. No 
matter what happens with the recommendations and the decisions 
of the Commanding General of the Military District of Washington, 
Army Headquarters can still do a further review of his own status 
to make sure that whatever board considers him knows all the 
facts. 



60 

In summary, I want to state again that we made serious mis- 
takes, but the Army itself corrected them and we have learned 
from them. We will be very happy to work with you and the Com- 
mittee staff to ensure that the processes we put in place for the fu- 
ture are the right ones. 

Finally, and most importantly, I want to reiterate that the Army 
does honor Sergeant Fielder's service and his sacrifice. Thank you, 
sir. 

Senator THOMPSON. General Griffith? 

General Griffith. Sir, I have no prepared statement. I would 
just like to comment that I was the Commanding General of the 
1st Armored Division during the Gulf War. The division was a part 
of the main attack against the Republican Guards. At the time we 
attacked into Iraq, the division was at about 24,000 strength. The 
engineer battalion, of which Sergeant Fielder was a member, was 
a part of that task force. It had been added to the division in Saudi 
Arabia. 

I have reviewed the GAO report. I think the GAO report fairly 
and objectively captures the essence of the events of this tragic oc- 
currence. I would take exception with one observation from the 
GAO report. It has to do with the statement that coordination be- 
tween the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 1st Armored Di- 
vision, the two flank units of the XVIII Airborne and VII U.S. 
Corps, had broken down. 

In fact, on the 26th of February, we had made the turn to the 
east. We had been told by General Schwartzkopf that we were in, 
to use a military term, a "pursuit operation." His expectation was 
for us to go as aggressively and as rapidly as possible to attack the 
Republican Guard forces in their positions. We moved to execute 
those orders. 

I would say that a major separation occurred between the 3rd 
Armored Cavalry Regiment and my division, but that the coordina- 
tion did not, in fact, break down. I had continuous communication 
with the 3rd Armored Cavalry. I had a captain from my organiza- 
tion who was with the command group of the 3rd Armored Cavalry 
Regiment. We had communications with that regiment throughout 
the afternoon of the 26th, and on into the night and the morning 
of the 27th when this tragic event took place. 

So that is the one exception I would take with the GAO report — 
the characterization that coordination had broken down. But other- 
wise, I would say that the GAO report is fair and objective, and I 
think it is accurate in capturing the events of this tragedy. 

Sergeant Fielder was the first soldier of the 1st Armored Division 
to die in Iraq. I only state this to put his death in context. The 1st 
Armored Division fought two of the largest battles of the war. We 
fought the Tawakalna Division, and we fought the Medina Divi- 
sion. We suffered four killed and 57 wounded. Sergeant Fielder was 
the first to die. 

I think about those four deaths every day. I probably think of 
Sergeant Fielder more than I do the others because the others died 
in operations against the Iraqis. Sergeant Fielder's death is pain- 
ful. It remains painful for me because it should not have occurred, 
and so I regret that deeply. I would say that I agree with Ms. List- 
er. Certainly, I would not even attempt to assert that I could have 



61 

the same feelings about the event that his family has — the pain is 
not the same — but the pain for me is very deep. 

I would tell you, sir, that as Sergeant Fielder's commander, for 
4 years I have done everything that I could do within my power 
to assure that the events of that evening were accurately captured, 
that eventually the truth would be recorded, and that the truth 
would be reported to the family of Sergeant Fielder. 

I would tell you, sir, that we bungled it along the way, but I 
would also tell you, unequivocally and without hesitation, that 
there was no attempt on the part of the United States Army to 
cover up anything. I would also tell you, sir, that while Ms. Shelton 
was working aggressively to ensure that the truth was told, there 
was a group of folks in uniform in the United States Army who 
were doing the same thing, working in parallel with her efforts to 
also assure that the truth was told. 

Again, sir, we cannot bring back that great young soldier, but we 
did have an obligation and I have felt so from the 27th of February, 
to record the truth and tell it to his family. I apologize to the fam- 
ily that it took us so long to get it right. But I ultimately do believe 
that we got the facts right, and the story was told accurately. The 
facts were not, in fact, covered up. 

That is all I have to say about this, other than to be willing to 
answer any questions that any member might want to pose to me. 

Senator THOMPSON. Thank you, General Griffith. I appreciate 
your candor and that of Ms. Lister. I think we have come a long 
way. I do not think we are quite there yet, but we will discuss that 
in a minute. 

I do think that it should be pointed out that it was the Army In- 
spector General's office that raised questions that ultimately re- 
sulted in an accurate rendition of these facts coming out, after the 
second investigation concluded that, well, it essentially absolved all 
those concerned and it was sent at that point to the Forces Com- 
mand Staff Judge Advocate. At that point, of course, certain rec- 
ommendations were made. Colonel Starr was reprimanded. Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Daly was reprimanded. Captain Friesen was rep- 
rimanded. Lieutenant Wessels was admonished. At that point, as 
I understand it, it went to General Burba, is that correct? 

Ms. Lister. That is correct. 

Senator Thompson. He is Commander in Chief, Forces Com- 
mand. General Burba made the decision to withdraw the rep- 
rimand of Captain Friesen. He made the decision not to place Colo- 
nel Starr's reprimand in his personnel file, is that correct? 

Ms. Lister. That is correct. 

Senator THOMPSON. He also made the decision to file Lieutenant 
Colonel Daly's reprimand in his personnel records jacket, which is 
not a part of the official personnel records reviewed for promotions, 
is that correct? 

Ms. Lister. That is correct. 

Senator Thompson. I cannot go so far as to commend the Gen- 
eral for making those determinations and those decisions, and I as- 
sume that this reprimand — well, of course, by this time, Lieutenant 
Colonel Daly had already received his recommendation for his 
medal, is that correct, at the time the reprimand was made? 



62 

Ms. Lister. I can only believe so. I do not know the dates, but 
that sounds logical. 

Senator THOMPSON. Ms. Lister, are you saying by your testimony 
that it may be appropriate to award the Bronze Star for actions in- 
volving a fratricide without the "V" for valor? You mentioned 

Ms. Lister. I am not saying that it is appropriate to award the 
Bronze Star for fratricide. Absolutely not. There is a difference, 
however, and I have learned this in the past month, between a 
bronze star which is given for extended service and for acts which 
might, indeed, have been taken in connection with a fratricide but 
were, in themselves, perfectly appropriate and professional. A "V" 
for valor award would never be appropriate in a fratricide, and, in 
fact, I think I have some discomfort with any award given in con- 
nection with a fratricide except, of course, for those who, indeed, 
did things to save the situation. 

Senator Thompson. Of course, the facts of this individual case or 
these individual cases, you say, are under review. Of course, they 
have been under review for some time now, have they not? 

Ms. Lister. They were supposed to be under review beginning 
the end of last August. I doubt very much whether it was started 
then. I have also since learned that it is a fairly small office that 
does this, so unless you keep making sure that they are doing that 
instead of the 10,000 requests with respect to medals they get, that 
it does not necessarily take the attention it deserved. I can assure 
you it is getting that attention now. 

Senator Thompson. Do you think we have gotten their attention? 

Ms. Lister. We have everybody's attention. 

Senator Thompson. The Army was briefed last May, I believe, by 
the GAO of the essential facts of this entire incident, were they 
not? 

Ms. Lister. That is correct. 

Senator Thompson. The GAO report was released in April of 
1995. How much longer, now that we all basically agree on the 
facts and you agree with the GAO report, and you have had that 
now essentially for over a year, how much longer do you think it 
will take the Army to act with regard to the personnel actions in 
this case? 

Ms. Lister. I hope not too much longer. One thing that hap- 
pened, and this was on legal advice, we held off forwarding any- 
thing to the Commander of the Military District of Washington 
until we had the final GAO report. I do not think the Army knew 
it would take quite as long as it did to get that final report. So 
some of the delay was our waiting to see if there was anything in 
that report which would be significant, and, of course, the tapes are 
quite significant. So that was why there was that delay. 

My understanding is that the process will move fairly quickly 
now, but, of course, we have to give the individual involved due 
process and he has asked for an extension of time. 

Senator Thompson. The Army knew about the tapes back in May 
of 1994? 

Ms. Lister. That is correct. That is when we heard them. I was 
there when we heard them in May of 1994, but we did not have 
a copy 



63 

Senator Thompson. What can we say when you say "under re- 
view"? You know by now that people will look at that kind of re- 
sponse from the Army or the military or any representative of Gov- 
ernment, for that matter, on something like this, under review, 
under consideration, we will do the right thing eventually and get 
back to you, it is equivalent to a black hole. People have no con- 
fidence in that kind of a response. I assume you appreciate that 
fact, and since the facts have been on the table all this time, who 
has to make these decisions? How many people does it have to go 
through? What is the problem here? 

Ms. Lister. I think the Army was being cautious about the 
rights of individuals, and I can assure you, knowing General Grif- 
fith, that he would not have let this matter fall into a black hole. 

General Griffith. Could I just pick up there, sir? 

Senator Thompson. Yes. 

General Griffith. We had a terrible, terrible event take place on 
the desert the night of the 26th-27th of February. There is no ques- 
tion about that, and we are not proud of that. Unfortunately, you 
have tragic events in training and on the battlefield. We will do ev- 
erything in our power to minimize and, if possible eliminate those 
in the future. But there were people who did a lot of good things 
during that very tragic event. 

There was a First Lieutenant by the name of Wessels, who, I 
think, testified here earlier in the day, who was responsible for sav- 
ing probably a number of lives, and he was given a Soldier's Medal. 
That is a very, very high award. He was recommended by my com- 
mand to receive the Soldier's Medal. He was also recommended for 
a Bronze Star for his total service with the 1st Armored Division 
during the Gulf War, and he received a Bronze Star. He also re- 
ceived a superb OER — Officer Efficiency Report — for his service. 

On the other side of the event, there were people who put them- 
selves in harm's way trying to ascertain what was ground truth. 
Ground truth, I also would say, sir, is very easy now in a more 
sterile environment than it was for those soldiers that night. To 
look back and to understand what happened, I would just like to 
talk a little bit about the environment that might. 

There were soldiers there on that spot who probably had not 
slept in 50 to 60 hours. We were in a shamal. There were very 
heavy sandstorms and there was heavy rain during this period. So 
the environment was not pleasant. 

Now, that is not an excuse. Soldiers are trained, and that is what 
discipline and training are all about, to ensure that when you find 
yourself in those circumstances, you still do the right thing. Some 
people did the wrong thing, but there were some people who did 
the right thing. Some of the soldiers who were given awards do not 
deserve the awards they were given, but their acts were courageous 
and their acts were worthy of acknowledgement. 

So I think, sir, that what you see in this circumstance is not that 
there is not a willingness to get to the truth and make sure that 
we ultimately do the right thing, but I think we also want to be 
fair to those young people out there who did put their lives at risk, 
who did do courageous things, and who did try to sort out the 
events on the ground and to minimize the potential for any other 
casualties occurring. 



64 

Senator THOMPSON. General, I appreciate that, but I would sug- 
gest that you not try to turn this into a defense of our brave young 
fighting people. I mean, it was our brave young fighting people that 
got wounded and killed out there that day because of some irre- 
sponsible actions that officers took. I am not second guessing their 
action. 

We started off this hearing by pointing that out. We are not here 
to make your life miserable or second guess you. We appreciate 
you. We are trying to help you. We are trying to get you to make 
your life a little easier by — I am not talking about you personally, 
I am talking about the Army in general — by responding in a time- 
ly, decent way. 

Timeliness in a case like this is more important than shuffling 
the ordinary paper. This family was lied to for half a year. That 
makes this a little bit more of a priority and makes it a little bit 
more important that it not get lost in the maze. 

I can only imagine what it is like out there on the field, but Cap- 
tain Friesen knows. Captain Friesen was there, too. He was there 
first. 

General GRIFFITH. I think Captain Friesen performed superbly. 

Senator Thompson. And he said that the situation was under 
control. He was mad as hell when Lieutenant Colonel Daly came 
blazing through there and opened fire on these people, and so were 
the other soldiers there on the ground. They knew that that was 
totally irresponsible action. So we are not criticizing those people. 
We are criticizing the people who are responsible for this. 

General Griffith. Let me give you my assurance, sir, that the 
review of the awards will not languish, and we will take appro- 
priate action. And when we do, we will give you a full and detailed 
report on the actions taken. 

Senator Thompson. There ought to be something we can resolve 
here today. I mean, we have the people here to resolve it. You just 
talked about the fact of Lieutenant Wessels and his brave action 
that he took. I mean, here is a young man who, as far as the record 
stands right now, received an admonishment for what he did. Now 
you are General Griffith and you are saying that he deserves a 
medal and received one. 

General Griffith. Sir 

Senator Thompson. Is there any reason to wait another year in 
order to remove the admonishment from this young man? 

General Griffith. Sir, I would like to respond to that. I was fully 
aware of Lieutenant Wessels' performance when this event took 
place. I think the record is clear. As his commander, I approved the 
award of the Soldier's Medal for his performance. He was coura- 
geous, he was responsible in his actions, and his actions saved the 
lives of other soldiers. As his commander, I readily approved the 
award of the Soldier's Medal, which is a very, very high award, for 
the actions that he took. 

Also, I approved, and I think probably signed, his Bronze Star 
for his total service during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. I also 
have reviewed the Officer Efficiency Report that the Lieutenant re- 
ceived, and I can tell you, sir, it was an absolutely superb report, 
one that would certainly make him competitive for anything he in- 
tended to do as a soldier in the Army. 



65 

Sir, the record is clear on what happened in his command. I 
would not second guess the commander who wrote the letter, but 
I would say that, obviously, my judgment about his performance 
was different. 

Senator THOMPSON. Who was in a better position to know what 
his performance was? 

General Griffith. Sir, I think that I was. 

Senator Thompson. Why? 

General Griffith. Because I was the commander on the ground. 

Senator Thompson. Ms. Lister, you have heard this. It sounds to 
me like the problem you have got is the letter came from a four- 
star general, the letter of admonishment. Where does the buck 
stop? You have heard from General Griffith. Where does the buck 
stop here? 

Ms. Lister. It is fine to have the buck stop right here. Let me 
say a couple of things, though. First of all, somebody gave then- 
Lieutenant Wessels bad advice, because the other officers re- 
sponded, which even if you are not supposed to do that, people do 
it and then the General reconsiders. 

I have no doubt, judging by what happened with the reprimands, 
that General Burba would have reconsidered if he had heard Lieu- 
tenant Wessels' side of the story, and I think it is really tragic that 
Lieutenant Wessels was not given that opportunity. 

I can say on behalf of the Secretary of the Army and myself, and 
I have read enough to know what Lieutenant Wessels did that 
night, that we would not have given him a letter of admonishment, 
whether it was an official document or not. I will do something to 
erase that. It is not on the record, of course. It is only on the record 
because of all these events. Normally, a letter of admonishment is 
a personal thing that does not go into anybody's official records, 
and we will do something about that. 

Senator Thompson. Well, apparently it did not go into his record 
but it went into his heart. 

Ms. Lister. I understand that. 

Senator Thompson. The letter says, your failing may have indi- 
rectly contributed to this tragic incident. Of all the testimony we 
have heard today and all the different levels of responsibility from 
these officers, he received this from a four-star general who did not 
know anything about him or what he did, who was operating on 
second- and third-hand, false information. You are admonished for 
your inattention to detail. 

Now, can you assure us that you will cause this to be rescinded 
and this young man apologized to? 

Ms. Lister. I will do what I can to make that happen, and I, my- 
self, feel it was inappropriate 

Senator Thompson. I thought the buck was going to stop 
with 

Ms. Lister. It is. Since I did not write the letter, it is hard for 
me to make someone who is retired rescind it, but I will personally 
talk to General Burba. 

Senator THOMPSON. I am talking about the Secretary of the 
Army and I am talking about you. 

Ms. Lister. I will certainly put my own — I will send him a letter 
that says, with my position and since I do have authority to deal 



66 

with military personnel issues, that my view of the situation is that 
the letter has been revoked. 

Senator THOMPSON. And apologize to him? 

Ms. Lister. Certainly. 

Senator THOMPSON. Let me ask you about Colonel Daly. We 
know that Colonel Daly received the Bronze Star and it was award- 
ed on the same day that these other medals for valor were received 
for the other two men in his vehicle. When General Burba made 
his decisions with regard to not putting these in certain files, as 
I recall, he also said, in effect, make sure these people do not get 
medals, did he not? 

Ms. LISTER. He certainly said, make sure this is referred to the 
Adjutant General so that all the medals involved are reviewed. Un- 
fortunately, that was not done and I have asked why and nobody 
knows. It was because it went in two different channels and it just 
was not done. 

Senator Thompson. Of course, by then, Colonel Daly had already 
received his medal. 

Ms. Lister. That is correct. 

General GRIFFITH. Sir, could I just pick up on this? 

Senator THOMPSON. Yes. 

General Griffith. And again, this is not being defensive. This is 
to bring a little more clarity, hopefully, into this story. 

I am sure you are familiar with the fact, sir, that we go back and 
find some soldier, even today, who did something in World War II 
or in the Korean War that was deserving of recognition and the sol- 
dier is just now being recognized, and many are never recognized 
for what they did. 

We have all had the experience over our careers of seeing sol- 
diers ultimately not getting the awards that they are entitled to. 
So one of the things that we committed to do and did, sir, in the 
Gulf, that I think was the right thing to do, I know I made a per- 
sonal commitment to my soldiers that there would not be a soldier 
on an airplane going back to Germany, where my division came 
from, without his award packet in hand — is that we would have 
soldiers recognized for their accomplishments before we went back 
to our home stations, before we went back Jio-Germany and back 
to the CONUS sites. So there was a very, very aggressive effort 
made to ensure that awards were completed and given to the sol- 
diers before they departed the desert, / 

That is not an excuse, sir, but I will tell you that the XVIII Air- 
borne Corps, which is the unit the 3rd Regiment was a part of, was 
very quickly pulled out of their positions after the war and started 
back to the States. 

Senator THOMPSON. General, I appreciate that, and I must say, 
you did an excellent job in expediting those awards. I am not talk- 
ing about you specifically, again. And I appreciate what you are 
saying, that people who deserve awards ought to get them. But 
look at this case. Look at this history here. The history of this case 
ought to guide us in the future. 

Sergeant Fielder was shot and killed on February 27. By March 
4, and March 6, recommendations for medals were submitted for 
those soldiers involved in killing him, 2 days before the boy was 
buried. So I would say you moved pretty expeditiously to get those 



67 

medals processed. I would not worry about that part of it. What I 
would worry about is doing the right thing now in rescinding those 
medals that even you say were not merited at the time. 

General Griffith. Yes, sir, and we will do that. I was trying to 
give you a flavor for what would have caused a commander to 
make that type of error, sir, that allowed that to happen. 

Senator THOMPSON. All right, sir. But we know now that the 
medal was awarded to Lt. Col. Daly. After that, General Burba 
said in his review, make sure, in effect, no medals are awarded. 
That slipped through the cracks. We know now that he let stand 
the reprimand, that Colonel Daly was actually reprimanded for the 
actions that took place there that night. Now, in light of that and 
all the other facts surrounding this case, what can you tell us today 
about what you intend to do as far as the award given to Colonel 
Daly? 

Ms. Lister. That award is being reviewed by the Commander of 
the Military District of Washington as he looks at all the cir- 
cumstances surrounding that tragic incident. 

Senator THOMPSON. We have been listening to the circumstances 
surrounding that tragic incident now all day. Have you been listen- 
ing to the testimony? 

Ms. LISTER. No, sir, but I have heard 

Senator Thompson. Do you not think that might have been a lit- 
tle bit helpful? I do not think you could have sat here and listened 
to what the rest of us have listened to and come to that kind of 
a response as to what you intend to do. 

You agree with the GAO report. The GAO did an excellent job. 
You said that. You basically, essentially agree with everything they 
have got in it. They fought Colonel Daly's activity up one side and 
down the other. He has been reprimanded. Colonel Burba said that 
these people should not receive medals. We know all that. We have 
been knowing all that. You were briefed by the GAO back in May 
of 1994. Is that the response you want to leave this Committee 
with, that it is under review? 

Ms. Lister. Senator, I think what we have to remember is that 
whatever our view of the facts, and GAO's view is very consistent 
with that of the Army, GAO also took note of the fact that we do 
have to worry about due process for those accused of being respon- 
sible. 

Senator Thompson. We all believe in due process, but you are 
giving due process a bad name. 

Ms. LISTER. Unfortunately, that is sometimes the case when due 
process when we feel we know the facts. 

Senator Thompson. I can assure you that this will not fall into 
a black hole, and I would encourage you to make life a little easier 
on yourself and come to some kind of closure on this. 

Ms. Lister. I hear you loud and clear, Senator, and we certainly 
intend to do so. 

Senator THOMPSON. Let me ask you about the death notification. 
You expressed your regret about that, and I appreciate your candor 
in that regard, but I will push it a little bit further and ask you 
why you think it took the Army 6 months to tell these parents the 
truth. 



68 

Ms. Lister. In looking at it, and it is not just regret, frankly, I 
was shocked, not being around when that happened, there were a 
lot of circumstances that contributed to it. One was that we have 
two chains with which to notify higher authorities of a death. The 
proper information went up through the chain of command, that 
Sergeant Fielder was killed as a result of fratricide. 

The proper information that was apparently attached to his body 
bag somehow got misplaced, and so the right information did not 
go back as soon as it should have. That is what I gather from the 
written record. 

Beyond that, I understand that there were problems with other 
fratricides, where the Army did not discover until it found uranium 
traces that, in fact, the deaths were caused by friendly fire and not 
by Iraqi troops, which, I understand, did not have the same equip- 
ment and, therefore, the same tracers would not be found on the 
vehicles. 

So the Army made a decision to notify everyone at once of the 
true facts when it was sure that it knew the true facts. I believe 
that was a mistake, but I was not there, so I can only say it was 
done that way for what I believe to have been good motives. They 
did not want to put people through unnecessary pain of getting the 
facts piecemeal. But that is something we have learned from and 
that is the only thing I can say positive about that. There is noth- 
ing positive to say about not giving families the truth. 

Senator THOMPSON. Was there a decision to wait until a certain 
date, 6 months afterwards or any length of afterwards, to notify all 
the families of friendly fire victims at the same time? 

Ms. Lister. My understanding was what happened was there 
was an investigation going on of these other deaths, which, at first, 
they thought were not friendly fire. I know this from reading the 
testimony. There were hearings on that whole casualty notification 
process. 

Senator THOMPSON. General Griffith, can you contribute to that? 

General GRIFFITH. Yes, sir. I believe we lost 21 soldiers in what 
we call fratricide, friendly fire. We were victims of our own commit- 
ment to determine absolute truth and to report absolute truth. I 
think our motives were right, but I think our procedures were poor. 

There was no doubt in my mind on the morning of the 27th, that 
Sergeant Fielder had died from fire received from the soldiers of 
the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. I did not need 6 months of in- 
vestigation to make that determination. As his commander, I knew 
he had died at the hands of soldiers of the 3rd Regiment. 

The decision was made in Washington and the Pentagon that we 
would investigate thoroughly every incident of friendly fire and 
that we would be absolutely certain, when we notified the families 
that their son or daughter had died as a result of fratricide, that 
we had all the facts. I personally think that is the wrong approach. 
If I were here today and we had another Desert Storm, I would 
argue to let the commander on the ground make the determination 
and trust the commander on the ground to make the appropriate 
call. 

So yes, sir, I think our intent was good. I think our execution 
was poor. 



69 

Senator Thompson. General Griffith, Ms. Shelton and Mr. Field- 
er have returned the medal that was awarded their son. We would 
request that you take their medal and ask you, since the Bronze 
Star awarded to him has been returned by the family, will you con- 
sider making the more proper award of the Soldier's Medal? 

General Griffith. Yes, sir. 

Senator Thompson. Will you do that? 

General Griffith. Yes, sir. That is the more appropriate award 
for Sergeant Fielder's actions. 

Senator THOMPSON. And for anyone else involved in a situation 
that did not involve enemy forces, correct? 

General Griffith. Yes, sir. 

Senator THOMPSON. I have several other things here that I was 
going into, but I really do not see the necessity for it. I think the 
facts are out and on the table. You have been forthcoming here 
today and we appreciate that. As I say, we are not here to Monday 
morning quarterback or second guess or anything. You are what 
makes this country strong, and we appreciate you. We appreciate 
all of you. But we just have to take care of these situations when 
they come about. 

This town should have learned a long time ago that trying to 
delay the facts or not face up to the facts and all of that is the 
worst thing in the world you can do because when it starts to un- 
ravel and it starts to come out, it goes all the way. I think you un- 
derstand that and appreciate that. 

I think we can all benefit from it in the future, and I think you 
have made some commitments here today that are real progress in 
that regard. Hopefully, that will contribute to the overall result 
from this hearing, that there will be less likelihood of these trage- 
dies in the future. Some are bound to occur, as you point out, but 
when they do, we have the system and the people and the good will 
to deal with them in an appropriate and effective manner. We ap- 
preciate your testimony. 

I am submitting a list of exhibits to be included in the record, 
and we will keep the record open for a period of 30 days for addi- 
tional material. 

[The list of exhibits appears in the Appendix on pages 80 to 202.1 

Senator Thompson. This hearing is adjourned. 

[Whereupon, at 2:55 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.] 



APPENDIX 



PREPARED STATEMENT OF SENATOR SAM NUNN 

Thank you Mr. Chairman. Today the Subcommittee will consider the actions 
taken by the Army following the tragic friendly fire incident during the Persian Gulf 
War that resulted in the death of Sergeant Douglas Fielder and the wounding of 
Sergeant James Napier. 

At the outset, I would like to express my sympathies to the parents of Sergeant 
Fielder — Mrs. Deborah Shelton and Mr. Ronald Fielder — who are with us today. 
Your son died in the service of his country. Tragically, his death resulted from 
weapons fired by his fellow American soldiers. Military service is a noble calling. 
Members of the armed forces take great risks in training and in operations in order 
to protect our freedoms. The risk of death from accident, error, or negligence is al- 
ways present, but it is incumbent upon the armed forces to take every reasonable 
step in terms of training and doctrine to avoid harm from one's fellow soldiers. 

The tragedy of Sergeant Fielder's death was compounded by the Army through 
misinformation related to you about the cause of his death, a series of defective in- 
vestigations, and questionable decisions concerning awards and decorations issued 
in connection with the incident. These are the issues we are to address today. 

The recent report issued by the General Accounting Office detailed a number of 
troubling findings regarding the AR 15-6 investigations. It stated the investigations 
were inaccurate and incomplete and were tainted by command influence. While I 
believe that, in large measure, the process works, some adjustments to the AR 15- 
6 process are in order. The services must be willing to assign responsibility, answer 
the tough questions and, by doing so, maintain the public trust. 

As a result of the GAO report on this incident, the Army is conducting ongoing 
proceedings related to potential disciplinary and administrative action with respect 
to individuals involved in this incident. I know, Mr. Chairman, that you have en- 
deavored to structure these proceedings so as to not interfere with the conduct of 
those proceedings. 

The issues before us relate to lessons that can be learned from this incident and 
its aftermath for the future. In particular, we should endeavor to answer the follow- 
ing questions in this hearing: 

First, what changes have been made in the procedures governing the con- 
duct and review of Army investigations to improve their timeliness, quality 
and accuracy, to reduce the influence of command to ensure impartiality 
and to assign accountability? 

Second, how can we improve the notification process for casualty informa- 
tion to preclude a repetition of the provision of erroneous information to 
families? 

Third, what can be done to provide families with greater access to infor- 
mation? 

Finally, what procedures can be implemented governing awards and deco- 
rations to ensure that their accuracy is unquestioned and that the review 
process takes into account the facts and circumstances surrounding the 
awards? 

I believe the public must have faith that our armed services are capable of polic- 
ing themselves with the same vigor and professionalism with which they defend our 
nation. I know that the Senate Armed Services Committee, on which I serve as 
Ranking Minority Member, has followed these matters closely and will be very in- 
terested in our discussion today. While the Subcommittee is focusing on a single in- 
cident, the findings and recommendations made here will have broader impact con- 
sidering the number of recent high profile incidents. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

(71) 



72 

PREPARED STATEMENT OF RICHARD C. STIENER 

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee: 

We are pleased to be here today to discuss our April 1995 report J concerning our 
investigation of events leading to a fratricide incident during the Persian Gulf War. 
We also assessed the adequacy of U.S. Army investigations following the incident 
and investigated allegations that Army officials hindered those investigations or in- 
fluenced their outcome. The fratricide involved engineers attached to the Army's 1st 
Armored Division (AD) and elements of the Army s 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment 
(ACR). One U.S. soldier— Army Sergeant Douglas Lance Fielder 2 — was unintention- 
ally killed; a second— Sergeant James E. Napier — was wounded. 

In summary, several critical factors resulted in the fratricide. The 3rd ACR's oper- 
ation plans and operation orders were incomplete and confusing, in part, because 
they did not contain current intelligence information. Further, coordination along 
the U.S. Army Corps boundary line had disintegrated resulting in elements of the 
3rd ACR crossing into a sector known to be controlled by the 1st AD. More impor- 
tantly, the 3rd ACR commanders did not maintain command and control of their 
units. 

The 3rd ACR's AR (Army Regulation) 15-6 investigation of the incident, which 
consisted of three investigative efforts, found the 3rd ACR commanders not respon- 
sible for the incident. We question the completeness and accuracy of these investiga- 
tions. However, we found no evidence of intentional document destruction, witness 
intimidation, or witness retaliation. 

The AR 15-6 investigation was reviewed by the Forces Command Staff Judge Ad- 
vocate, who recommended that three 3rd ACR officers be reprimanded and the engi- 
neers Executive Officer be admonished. However, at the discretion of the Com- 
mander in Chief, Forces Command, two reprimands were not made part of the offi- 
cers' official military personnel files, the third was withdrawn, and the admonish- 
ment was allowed to stand. 

Further, we determined that several 3rd ACR personnel received heroism awards, 
related to the incident, that were based on misleading statements and inaccurate 
information. 

THE INCIDENT 

On August 2, 1990, Iraqi military forces invaded the emirate of Kuwait. They re- 
fused to withdraw by the United Nations-imposed deadline of midnight, Eastern 
Standard Time, January 15, 1991. 

U.S. and allied forces thus implemented Operation Desert Storm on January 17, 
1991, beginning with an extensive air campaign. The ground war began on February 
24, 1991, and ended February 28, 1991, when allied commanders declared a cease- 
fire. 

At approximately 2:30 a.m. (Persian Gulf Time) on February 27, 1991, near Umm 
Haiul, Iraq, elements of the 3rd ACR, while attacking an Iraqi airfield, crossed a 
U.S. Army corps boundary line into a sector known to be controlled by the 1st AD. 
According to the I Troop Commander of the 3rd Squadron, Captain Bodo Friesen, 
he initially ordered the gunner of his M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank to fire warn- 
ing shots away from suspected Iraqi ground troops. Those troops were instead the 
engineers of Charlie Company who were awaiting recovery of their disabled vehicle. 
The two engineers who were observing the 3rd Squadron's vehicles stated that they 
attempted to identify themselves before and after they were fired upon and they 
saw no warning shots. They claimed the first shots were fired directly at them. Im- 
mediately on firing the warning shots, Captain Friesen's tank driver and gunner re- 
ported return fire from the engineers' position, a claim the engineers and other ^rd 
Squadron troops dispute. Captain Friesen ordered his gunner and two Bradley 
Fighting Vehicles (Bradley) to fire. A cease-fire was then called. Sergeant Napier 
was wounded during this firing sequence. 

While I Troop elements were developing and engaging the targets, the 3rd Squad- 
ron Commander, Lt. Colonel John H. Daly, Jr., moved into the engagement area. 
Once at the scene, he did not ask for Captain Friesen's assessment of the situation, 
which at that point appeared to the Captain to be under control. In addition, when 
one of two troops riding in Lt. Colonel Daly's Bradley asked to dismount in order 
to confront the suspected Iraqi troops, Lt. Colonel Daly dismounted the two without 
coordinating his actions with Captain Friesen or any of his subordinate units. This 
dangerously exposed the dismounts to the risk of fratricide. Further relying on his 



1 Operation Desert Storm: Investigation of a U.S. Army Fratricide Incident (GAO/OSI-95-10, 
Apr. 7, 1995). 

2 Corporal Fielder was promoted posthumously to Sergeant effective Feb. 26, 1991. 



73 

Bradley gunner's assessment, Lt. Colonel Daly ordered his gunner to fire at an 
unconfirmed target. Specialist Fielder was killed during this firing sequence. Sec- 
onds before the Bradley gunner fired, 1st Lieutenant Kevin Wessels, the engineers' 
Executive Officer, had fired a green star cluster to illuminate the area. Unknown 
to Lieutenant Wessels at the time, a green star cluster was a daytime ground-to- 
ground antifratricide recognition signal. 

We estimate that the time between the first shots and the fatal shots was 7 min- 
utes 15 seconds. We also estimate that 25 minutes elapsed between when I Troop, 
3rd Squadron, first misidentified the engineers and their identification as U.S. 
troops. 

Among the critical factors resulting in the fratricide were the 3rd ACR's Oper- 
ation Plan and Operation Order for the February 27, 1991, mission; they were in- 
complete and contained contradictory, outdated intelligence information about 
enemy presence. Further, coordination between the VII Corps and XVIII Airborne 
Corps along the boundary had disintegrated. In addition, maps used by the 3rd ACR 
commanders and troops in preparation for the mission were outdated and did not 
accurately depict the 3rd ACR's objective. Communication failures — from the 3rd 
ACR through the squadrons to the troops — also contributed to the confusion leading 
to the incident. 

However, of greater consequence, both the 3rd ACR Commander, Colonel Douglas 
Starr, and the 3rd Squadron Commander, Lt. Colonel Daly, failed to maintain com- 
mand and control of their subordinate units: They did not ensure subordinates' 
knowledge of their southern boundary, past which they knew friendly forces might 
be located. They did not determine their and their units' positions relative to the 
boundary. Furthermore, Lt. Colonel Daly did not abide by the stated rules of en- 
gagement, which were not to fire unless fired upon and not to fire below the bound- 
ary. 

INCOMPLETE, INACCURATE INVESTIGATIONS 

Within hours, the 3rd ACR initiated an AR 15-6 investigation. By regulation, 
such investigations are to be thorough and impartial and make recommendations 
as warranted by the facts. The first Investigating Officer, in both his initial inves- 
tigation and his subsequent reinvestigation, found that all personnel had acted re- 
sponsibly and recommended that all be absolved of any criminal or administrative 
responsibility for the incident. The 54th Engineer Battalion Commander and the VII 
Corps Staff Judge Advocate reviewed the results of the first two investigative efforts 
and raised additional questions. As a result, in October 1991 the XVIII Airborne 
Corps directed that a supplemental AR 15-6 investigation be conducted. The second 
Investigating Officer concurred that all involved individuals had acted responsibly 
and recommended that they be absolved of all responsibility for the incident. 

Among other shortcomings, both Investigating Officers overlooked numerous docu- 
ments and other information, including an audio tape recording of the incident that 
we located. They did not elicit evidence that some 3rd Squadron personnel — includ- 
ing crew members aboard the 3rd Squadron Commander's Bradley — had recognized 
U.S. vehicles before the fatal shots were fired. Both misstated facts, such as that 
the engineers were not wearing Kevlar helmets or Load Bearing Equipment that 
would have aided identification. Neither Investigating Officer attempted to confirm 
statements concerning return fire. Neither investigators' conclusions and rec- 
ommendations — which absolved all participants of any responsibility — were sup- 
ported by the evidence available. 

Later, a Forces Command Staff Judge Advocate, at the direction of the Com- 
mander in Chief, Headquarters Forces Command, performed a legal review and 
analyses of the report of investigation. He stated to us his supposition that the sec- 
ond Investigating Officer had a "skewed" objectivity and a predetermined conclusion 
concerning the case. This coincides with the results of recent GAO and Department 
of Defense (DOD) studies that questioned the independence of command-directed in- 
vestigations. 3 That type of an investigation, according to a 1994 DOD study, is 
"most subject to abuse"; and the investigators who conduct them "are more subject 
to command influence." 

The Forces Command Staff Judge Advocate recommended reversing the two In- 
vestigating Officers' findings, noting, among other failings, the involved 3rd ACR of- 
ficers' "negligent" actions that placed their soldiers at risk and their "dereliction of 
duty" for assuming that personnel in a rear area were enemy. Based on his rec- 



3 Military Training Deaths: Need to Ensure That Safety Lessons Are Learned and Implemented 
(GAO/NSIAD-94-82, May 5, 1994) and "Report of the Advisory Board on the Investigative Ca- 
pability of the Department of Defense," 1994. 



74 

ommendations, three 3rd ACR officers were issued letters of reprimand; the engi- 
neers' Executive Officer was issued a memorandum of admonition. After those rep- 
rimanded replied to the reprimands, the Commander in Chief, Forces Command, 
General Edwin H. Burba, at his discretion, directed that two reprimands not be 
made part of the officers' permanent military files and that the third be withdrawn. 

NO EVIDENCE OF INTENTIONAL HINDRANCE IN INVESTIGATIONS 

During our investigation, we interviewed over 108 current and former U.S. Army 
and Air Force personnel who were directly or indirectly involved in the February 
27, 1991, fratricide incident. We also reviewed, among other items, records and doc- 
uments at the corps, division, regimental, and squadron levels; the entire AR 15- 
6 investigation and its reviews; and two related U.S. Army Inspector General inves- 
tigations. We found no evidence of intentional document destruction, witness intimi- 
dation, or retaliation against witnesses. 

QUESTIONABLE HEROISM AWARDS 

During our investigation, we learned that heroism awards related directly to the 
fratricide incident had been given to three officers and several men of the 3rd ACR. 
These awards were based on misleading statements and misrepresentations made 
by the 3rd ACR Commander, Colonel Starr, and the 3rd Squadron Commander, Lt. 
Colonel Daly. Award support documents for the officers referred to "enemy" pres- 
ence and "hostile fire" during the fratricide incident. Two of the awards indicated 
the actions had occurred at an airfield about 28 kilometers from the incident site. 
In May 1994, we briefed the Army on our investigative findings, including those 
concerning the heroism awards. Following that briefing, the Army Office of Inspec- 
tor General (OIG) analyzed the awards. In August 1994, the Army OIG requested 
the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs to revoke 
the awards as the "award recommendations revealed that they were not in contact 
with an armed enemy." 

REVIEW OF ARMY INSPECTOR GENERAL'S INVESTIGATIONS 

We also assessed the adequacy of two U.S. Army OIG investigations related to 
this incident. The first investigation focused on allegations of an intentional cover- 
up by Army officials in the reporting of the friendly fire death of Sergeant Fielder. 
After careful review, we believe that the evidence the Army OIG found supported 
its conclusion that no one within the Department of the Army intentionally withheld 
or attempted to cover up the friendly fire death of Sergeant Fielder. We also agree 
with the OIG's conclusion that instead, systemic problems within the Army's notifi- 
cation process — including poor communication and training of personnel — caused 
confusion and resulted in suspicions of a cover-up. 

The OIG's second investigation addressed allegations of abandonment and cow- 
ardice on the part of the commanding officer of Charlie Company, 54th Engineer 
Battalion. After review, we believe that the evidence the OIG found supported its 
conclusion that these allegations were not substantiated. 

We also reviewed the Army OIG inquiry into the heroism awards for its content. 
Even though the Army OIG recommended the revocation of the awards, it indicated 
that it had found "no evidence that any individual falsified information in the 
awards recommendations." However, we found that several of the support docu- 
ments justifying the awards contained misleading statements and misrepresenta- 
tions that were submitted by those directly involved in the fratricide incident. 

RECOMMMENDATIONS 

In our April 1995 report, we recommended that the Secretary of the Army (1) re- 
examine for their appropriateness, the disciplinary actions taken regarding this frat- 
ricide incident and the disposition of those actions and (2) follow up on the Army 
OIG request that improperly supported awards for participation in fratricide inci- 
dents be revoked. At this time we have not received an official response to our rec- 
ommendations. 



This completes my prepared remarks. I would now welcome any comments or 
questions that you may have. 



75 

PREPARED STATEMENT OF KEVIN J. WESSELS 

My name is Kevin Wessels. During Operation Desert Storm, I was a first lieuten- 
ant attached to the 54th Engineering Battalion, United States Army. We were re- 
sponsible for moving ammunition and other logistics support for the 2nd Brigade as 
it advanced in the war. I also had the privilege of commanding Corporal Lance 
Fielder and three other enlisted men during the devastating attack on our position 
that is the subject of this hearing. 

On February 26, 1991, our M548 ammunition carrier broke down. While awaiting 
recovery, we pulled off to the side of a main thoroughfare known as a "log line" or 
logistics line. Although this seemed to be a relatively safe position, since American 
trucks were continually passing within 50 feet of us for most of the night, I still 
posted a two-man guard. In the early hours of the morning, those guards recognized 
approaching American vehicles, including several Bradleys and a tank. To this day 
I will never understand why if we took the time to watch and listen to the approach- 
ing vehicles, they were unable to look at us more carefully before firing. 

At approximately three o'clock in the morning of February 27, 1991, I was awak- 
ened by the sound of gunfire and one of my men screaming, "Sir, the Americans 
are shooting at us!" Within seconds, another round of fire ripped through our vehi- 
cles as we scrambled for cover. It was at this point that one of my men, Sergeant 
James Napier, was hit in the leg as he tried to escape. A trailer loaded with ammu- 
nition started to burn, with some of the rounds detonating as the fire spread. 

Specialist Craig Walker ran to Sgt. Napier and carried him to safety near Cor- 
poral Lance Fielder and Specialist Robert Driben. While Corporal Fielder, Specialist 
Walker, and Specialist Driben attended to the wounds sustained by Sgt. Napier, I 
ran back to my Humvee (HMMWV) and got on my radio, announcing on several dif- 
ferent command frequencies that we were being fired upon by our own troops. 

When the third round of fire started, I crawled back behind the M548 ammunition 
carrier. 

When the firing stopped, I ran back to the Humvee, trying desperately again to 
reach someone over the radio who could help us. I had no luck in contacting anyone. 

When the fourth round of fire began, I grabbed a flare and crawled back behind 
the M548 ammunition carrier. When the shooting let up, I fired the flare. I hoped 
that it was a parachute flare, which would illuminate the area long enough for us 
to be identified as Americans. It turned out to be a green star cluster, and extin- 
guished quickly. Later on I would be criticized for using the daytime friendly forces 
recognition signal, a green cluster, instead of the nighttime signal, a white cluster. 
Not only had I never been briefed on these signals, I didn't even have a white clus- 
ter. The truth is, I was trying to light up the sky in attempt to save my men, and 
I was too busy to take an inventory of my pyrotechnic devices. 

Soon, a fifth blast of gunfire came from the Americans. When the barrage stopped, 
I saw American armored vehicles moving to our side. I quickly recognized that we 
would no longer have the protection of the M548, but would be caught in a deadly 
cross-fire if the American unit maneuvering to our side began firing. I became 
acutely aware of the fact that if I didn't do something immediately, all five of us 
would surely be killed. At this point I turned on my red-lensed flashlight, stood with 
my hands over my head, and walked slowly forward to the nearest Bradley armored 
vehicle. The gunner of the Bradley, who had his 50-caliber machine gun pointed 
straight at my chest, yelled, "You better be American!" I will spare you my initial 
response and simply say that he was stunned to find out that I actually was. 

A captain from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (3rd ACR), whose guns had 
been firing at us, walked back with me to where my men were located. It was then 
I learned that one of my finest soldiers, Corporal Lance Fielder, had been hit twice 
during that last round of fire. I was deeply saddened by the realization that Lance 
Fielder had been killed. It was a tragedy that never should have happened. 

I immediately called our brigade Medivac. I could only get one helicopter and, in 
accordance with Army policy, they would not carry a dead soldier and a wounded 
soldier in the same helicopter. The 3rd ACR captain called for their helicopter that 
would take Sgt. Napier and Cpl. Fielder together. I filled out a Casualty Feeder Re- 
port and stated that Cpl. Fielder had been killed by friendly fire. The helicopter ap- 
parently blew the first report away, so I filled out another one, again stating that 
the death was a result of friendly fire. I was shocked to learn that Cpl. Fielder's 
parents were later told that he had been killed by Iraqi forces. 

Within a few hours, an AR 15-6 investigation into this incident began. Captain 
David Jacquot was assigned the task of conducting the investigation. He did not ask 
me any questions. He simply requested that I write a statement describing the inci- 
dent. That was the only time I have been permitted to make a full statement about 
this incident until this Senate hearing. The remainder of the Army's investigation 



\ 



76 

was very frustrating as I felt I was being questioned in such a way as to ensure 
certain specific answers. For example, several months after the incident, I was 
interviewed over the phone by Brigadier General Nicholas Halley. He asked me 
about the different colors of flares and lights that are used as recognition signals. 
He did not seem interested at all in the discrepancies and conflicting statements I 
attempted to point out that occurred during the AR 15-6 investigation. He just said, 
"Thanks very much," and hung up. I felt General Halley was looking for specific an- 
swers that would relieve the 3rd ACR of any responsibility for their numerous blun- 
ders. 

Upon reading the various reports of this incident, I was astounded to learn that, 
in an attempt to justify their actions, members of the 3rd ACR claimed my men re- 
turned fire. Let me make one point very clear. Neither I, nor any of my men, ever 
fired a single shot. Why would we? We knew that the soldiers shooting at us were 
Americans. At no time did Captain Jacquot or anyone else ever check even one of 
our weapons to determine if they had been fired. If they had, they would have found 
that the weapons were full of dust. 

In late 1991 and again in early 1992, I was interviewed during an Army Inspector 
General investigation that I was told was being conducted to determine the facts 
and circumstances surrounding the reporting of the death of Corporal Fielder. How- 
ever, by April 20, 1992, the focus of the investigation had shifted to investigating 
"allegations of improprieties related to command and control issues within the 1st 
Armored Division and the 54th Engineering Battalion." In other words, my actions 
were now being investigated. Two weeks later, I was slapped with a Letter of Ad- 
monishment from General Edwin Burba. General Burba wasn't even in my chain 
of command. Unlike others who had received letters of reprimand, I was given no 
opportunity to respond. This letter was devastating to me. It stated that I may have 
indirectly contributed to the death of Lance Fielder. Since the day I received that 
letter, those words have been etched in my mind. I ask each of you to imagine how 
such a letter would affect you, after seeing your men and equipment torn apart by 
gunfire coming from what you knew to be other American forces. The actions I took 
that night were with one single thought in mind — do whatever it takes to save the 
lives of my men from an awesome amount of American firepower. As I sit here today 
I can assure this panel, the Army, and most importantly, the parents of Lance 
Fielder, that I did everything in my power to protect my men and stop the attack. 
I will regret for the rest of my life that I was unsuccessful in that effort. 

Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. I will be happy to an- 
swer any questions you may have. 

PREPARED STATEMENT OF BO H. FRIESEN 

I appreciate the opportunity to appear before the Subcommittee here today, and 
I am very grateful for the fact that the Subcommittee is reviewing this tragic inci- 
dent. Quite simply, this never should have happened. I will give you my viewpoint 
of what occurred that night. I was a member of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment 
(or 3rd ACR), and the commander of nine M1A1 Abrams tanks along with twelve 
Bradley Fighting Vehicles. It was my tank and two Bradleys who first approached 
the engineers and their disabled vehicles. 

It is important to state that I deeply regret the events of that night, and like 
Kevin Wessels, I will have to live with that memory for the rest of my life. But it 
is also important to note that given the situation, and the information with which 
I was provided by my commanders, I acted with extreme caution. Let me explain 
what I mean. 

Our objective that night was to seize the Umm Hajul airfield. My squadron com- 
mander, Lt. Col. John Daly, briefed me that our unit would be the most forward 
one in the area. Further, I was told that the airfield we were attacking was being 
defended by a heavily dug-in battalion of Iraqi soldiers. Lt. Col. Daly never even 
mentioned the possibility of friendly forces in the area. 

Lt. Col. Daly directed the use of a diamond assault formation. The significance 
of this is that there is no reconnaissance whatsoever out in front. This formation 
placed the maximum tank firepower forward. The sole purpose of this formation is 
to destroy confirmed enemy positions. This clearly indicated to me that we would 
not encounter friendly forces at any time during our operation. 

Lt. Col. Daly sent the squadron on a blind attack into an uncertain area. This 
was a clear violation of basic tactical principles. The use of this type of formation 
alone confirmed in my mind that we would likely encounter heavy resistance by 
Iraqi forces on the airfield we were approaching. 

As we were approaching the airfield, my troop discovered what I now know to be 
Lt. Wessels's unit. Based on the intelligence briefings I had received, I assumed that 



77 

he and his men were Iraqi soldiers. Initially, after obtaining Lt. Col. Daly's permis- 
sion, I ordered that warning shots be fired. After this it is my firm belief that we 
began receiving return fire from the suspected enemy force. As we just heard from 
Kevin Wessels, this was not the case. All I can offer to him, and his men, is that 
we truly believed that to be so. 

We then returned fire in order to suppress what we thought were enemy forces. 
After we had expended what I believed to be the maximum amount of necessary 
force, I ordered a cease fire. The soldiers, who we still thought were Iraqis, no 
longer posed a threat. They were silent. We were heavily armed and could have eas- 
ily destroyed the small group of soldiers in a matter of seconds. They had no place 
to escape to, we had them contained on flat terrain and could easily have captured 
them if they had tried to escape. Even assuming they were Iraqis, shooting them 
at this time would have been totally unjustified. 

At this point, confusion broke out as Lt. Col. Daly's command group, which in- 
cluded three Bradleys and a number of smaller vehicles, pulled up unannounced on 
my left. Some of my men believed his vehicles were Iraqi and nearly fired on them. 
Another disaster was narrowly averted. Later, in a similar display of poor command 
judgment, Lt. Col. Daly allowed two of his men to leave his Bradley and cross imme- 
diately in front of our guns. One of his soldiers soon became lost and wandered over 
to another Bradley. For that brilliant display of military navigation, I believe he re- 
ceived the Bronze Star with "V" device for valor. We had no idea where these men 
came from: we initially thought they were Iraqis, and once again, we came within 
a razor's edge of shooting them. 

As I continued to monitor the situation, I could see clearly through my thermal 
sights one soldier in Kevin's unit assisting a fellow soldier to a safer location. Nei- 
ther soldier was carrying a weapon. I heard Lt. Col. Daly's voice come over the radio 
screaming, "They're getting away! They're getting away!" A burst of machine gun 
fire erupted from my left and struck the soldier who had been helping his comrade. 
I later learned that this soldier was Corporal Fielder. I was furious. It became obvi- 
ous that Lt. Col. Daly had disregarded and overridden my cease fire. If he hadn't, 
Corporal Fielder would still be alive today. 

The mood within my troop got ugly. My soldiers were very angry about what had 
just happened. Several threats against Lt. Col. Daly came across the radio net, and 
I had to intervene to restore order. 

To make matters even worse, Lt. Col. Daly came up to me about an hour after 
the shooting and said, "We have to keep this under our hat." His comments were 
overheard by some of my troops. I can only imagine the signal this sent to them. 
Several days later, I discovered that my fellow officers were under the false impres- 
sion that we had destroyed an Iraqi force on the night this incident occurred. When 
I tried to correct this misinformation, Lt. Col. Daly took me aside and once again 
advised me to remain silent about what had transpired. 

In reviewing the results of the subsequent AR 15-6 investigation, I learned that 
an officer assigned to the 3rd ACR stated that he had attempted to receive author- 
ization to cross the corps boundary line in order to attack the airfield at Umm 
Hajul. This was denied by the 1st Armored Division because they had American 
supply trains in the area. That is exactly what Lt. Wessels was doing there. The 
officer stated that he briefed the 3rd ACR executive officer of this fact, who then 
passed it on to Col. Starr, Lt. Col. Daly's immediate commander. If Col. Starr or- 
dered the attack on that airfield with knowledge of American supply trains in the 
area, then Col. Starr is as directly responsible for Corporal Fielder's death as is Lt. 
Col. Daly. I believe this to be exactly the case. 

It is crystal clear that Col. Starr and Lt. Col. Daly were aware of both the corps 
boundary and the possibility of friendly forces in the area. Incredibly, they ordered 
and conducted a violent assault into the Umm Hajul area. I feel these were crimi- 
nally negligent acts. 

In sitting next to Kevin today and hearing him talk about his letter of admonition 
and the obvious effect it has had on his life, I feel compelled to tell this panel that 
as an eyewitness to the bravery of his actions, and the leadership he displayed, that 
letter is totally unjustified. The Army should withdraw the letter and apologize to 
Kevin. 

To the family of Lance Fielder, and to Kevin and the men under his command, 
I can never express my true sorrow enough for the events that took place that night. 
I learned early in my career as a cadet at West Point that integrity and leadership 
are the elements most vital to commanding men in battle. This forum, and this in- 
vestigation, looking into the true causes of these tragic events can go a long way 
to restoring the accountability and the integrity that must exist in our armed forces. 
You have my sincere thanks for that effort. 



78 

PREPARED STATEMENT OF DEBORAH SHELTON AND RON FIELDER 

MS. SHELTON: Good morning, Mr. Chairman. I extend to you my appreciation 
for the opportunity to speak before your Subcommittee today. Every member of my 
family has asked me to offer you a heartfelt thanks for your support and service 
to us. Our decision to accept your invitation was, in part, based upon one simple 
principle that we believe is vital to us all. Liberty wanes, while we in silence or with 
other things to do, ponder what we value more than the liberty to speak. I consider 
your encouragement to provide testimony here an act of good faith in demonstrating 
the importance of a government willing to serve all people and ideas of merit. 
Among the traditional American liberties and ideals resides honesty, integrity and 
justice. These are well-proven tools for seeking truth. I ask you to apply them with 
skill today, not to understand my truth, but to find your own during this inquiry. 

My son, Sergeant D. Lance Fielder, was killed in action by friendly fire while 
serving as a member of the United States Army during Operation Desert Storm. 
From the very moment of his death, the facts surrounding this tragedy were known 
accurately and in detail to all involved military personnel. However, what I have 
learned since Lance's death is that any truth related to this matter has been sup- 
pressed. That action was adopted by consensus and endorsed by segments within 
the Army officer corps, in accordance with an agreed upon plan. 

The plan was simple. It contained only three parts: 

1. Lie about how Sergeant D. Lance Fielder died. 

2. Enhance the basic lie with arrogant bravado, claiming the participants in 
this action performed heroic feats. 

3. Use the lie for personal gain by awarding medals for distinguished service, 
under fire, to conspirators and/or any participants. 

NOTIFICATION ABOUT THE LOSS OF OUR SON 

On Thursday, February 28, 1991, at 3:00 p.m., two members of the Army's notifi- 
cation team came to each of our homes simultaneously. They informed us that 
Lance had been killed while in combat with the Iraqis on February 26, 1991. On 
the following Saturday, March 2, 1991, we each received a Mailgram from the Army 
that read: 

"This Mailgram is to confirm to you that your son, Specialist Douglas 
Lance Fielder, died in Iraq on 26 February, 1991, as the result of massive 
chest trauma, due to multiple gunshot wounds received, while engaging the 
enemy." 

We buried Lance on Friday, March 8, 1991. I remember standing at the cemetery 
where we laid him to rest and thinking about my son and the others buried in that 
place. I thought about how we try to honor our fallen soldiers and how small a piece 
of ground they each receive in death. At that moment, the funeral service and the 
small piece of ground did not seem to be enough for Lance or for any of the others 
who had given their lives for their country. 

MR. FIELDER: Several weeks after Lance's funeral, I received a phone call at 
3:00 a.m. on May 2, 1991. The voice on the other end of the line said: "This is Spe- 
cialist Mark Norwood. I served in the Army with Lance. I was a friend of his and 
I'm in Saudi Arabia now. The Army is lying to you. Lance was killed by an Amer- 
ican unit. I can't talk any longer right now, but when I come home I'm going to 
tell you everything that really happened." The phone rang again about an hour 
later. This time it was a Captain Bowser, who was Specialist Norwood's commander. 
Captain Bowser told me Lance had been killed by an attacking American unit. He 
also told me that Lance would be receiving the Bronze Star with a "V" device for 
valor. 

During each of these calls I was in shock. I could not think of any questions to 
ask, and it was very difficult for me to comprehend what I was being told. American 
soldiers had killed my son, but my country had already told me that the Iraqis did 
it. 

These calls, which came in the middle of the night from my son's colleagues, were 
the only accurate "notification" — if it can be called that — that Deborah and I would 
receive for many months. The Army didn't provide us with official notification until 
August 1991, more than three months after Lance's colleagues called me with the 
truth. Waiting three months to hear something from the Army would prove difficult. 

Shortly after I received the calls, I telephoned Deborah and explained what I had 
learned from Lance's friends. Our discovery that Lance had been killed by American 
forces caught us both completely off guard. As we would learn to our sorrow, we 



79 

were about to begin a process of grief and pain all over again. However, this time 
the fact of Lance's death came to us under a painful shroud of deceit. 

I recalled a conversation with Specialist Ted Lane, the Army's official escort, that 
took place on March 7, 1991, the day before we buried Lance. When I asked about 
the circumstances of my son's death, Lane told us that he did not know. During a 
later visit by Lane, we would find out that this was not true. Ted Lane had known 
all along what the truth was, but he had been instructed not to discuss Lance's 
death with us, or to volunteer any information of consequence. 

For more than three months after we first received the horrifying news from the 
soldiers in Lance's unit, we heard absolutely nothing from the Army about what 
happened. Absolutely nothing. You cannot imagine how unnerving it is to be told 
first that your son died at the hands of the enemy; then to be told off the record 
that he was killed by Americans; then to be told nothing. 

The Army eventually decided to give us official notification about the cause of 
Lance's death. The Army called and told each of us that papers would be delivered 
at exactly 3:00 p.m. on August 12, 1991. We were each given a copy of the same 
letter and asked to sign for it. The letter read in part: 

"Armored vehicles from another U.S. force strayed into your son's area. 
The soldiers in these vehicles mistakenly identified [Lance's] vehicle as hos- 
tile. They fired shots wounding one of the other soldiers. The soldiers with 
[Lance] dismounted their vehicles and formed a hasty defensive position, 
while [Lance] attended to the wounded soldier. As [Lance] was performing 
first aid, a second round of machine gun fire wounded him. [Lance] died 
bravely, giving aid to a fellow soldier, in the thick of battle, selflessly serv- 
ing his country." 

MS. SHELTON: The delivery of the notification letter was unusual, and it caught 
our attention immediately. We were told that the timing for the receipt of the letter 
was critical. This was stressed repeatedly as an important and vital element. Later, 
we discovered that we were only one of a large number of American families who 
unknowingly participated in a well-orchestrated event. The Army had decided, at 
one time, on one day, to inform all of the families whose loved ones had been killed 
by friendly fire of the real cause of their deaths. Thus, we were only one of many 
families across this country who were told at exactly 3:00 p.m. on August 12, 1991, 
that their loved one had been killed by friendly fire. 

On that day, Army personnel fanned out across the country with military preci- 
sion, executing the Army's notification plan by breaking the bad news to everyone 
in unison, months after the war had ended. The Army's tactic was to overwhelm 
the media with the magnitude of the event itself, while masking the real signifi- 
cance of the unusually large number of American deaths by friendly fire. 

Death by friendly fire is a very sensitive subject. It had to be handled with great 
skill. If the Army had informed the families of the friendly fire victims of the cause 
of death in each instance as soon as possible, this would have created a long string 
of shocking disclosures over an extended period of time. And that would have 
harmed the Army, because as long as the story circulated in the press, reporters 
were going to be asking questions. 

From a military standpoint, the story was big, the news was bad, and a negative 
impact in the media was certain. Since so many Americans were killed by other 
Americans in Desert Storm, the truth of that fact could not be hidden or avoided. 
The strategy required accepting one big, negative hit in the press, then letting the 
story die. By speaking all at once to each family victimized by friendly fire, the mili- 
tary limited to the greatest extent possible the envisioned outrage by the media. 
Duping the media was vital. 

BEGINNING OUR SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH 

We knew there was nothing that would bring back our son, but at the same time, 
we were forced to face certain realities. How was Lance killed by Americans? Why 
did the U.S. Army elect to lie to our family? Did they have something to hide? If 
that was true, what were they attempting to conceal? Making some notes on what 
was known to us at that time helped me to focus on three very important issues: 

A. Why were Lance and a handful of men left alone in the desert in the 
first place? 

B. What really took place out there, and how could American forces at- 
tack and kill other Americans? 

C. Exactly what did happen to my son from the time he died until he 
came home? 



80 

It was clear to Ron and me that no amount of agonizing would get us the truth. 
I knew that for myself there would never be an end to the anguish until our family 
had the complete truth. I made up my mind to look for the truth until I found it. 
I began calling and meeting with people, requesting government documents, and 
writing letters. Over the last four years, I have placed more phone calls, written 
more letters, filed more FOIA requests, and contacted more people than I could 
count for you today. The search for the truth has been a heartbreaking four year 
journey through thickets of deceit, delay, bureaucratic incompetence, and callous- 
ness. 

I began to consider how many people it takes to tell a really big lie and today 
I still do not know. However, I do know it only takes one to initiate the process. 
It would take some time for me to learn dishonesty, for this situation began in the 
desert a long way from where I stood. Yet it did not stop there, but moved instead 
with remarkable swiftness to savage our family. That same dishonesty gained 
strength with assistance from those who in time would elect to lie, obstructing the 
truth and also to protect themselves. 

I soon discovered that our quest for the truth would require patience, diligence, 
and common sense. Patience has never been my best virtue. However, with enough 
determination, I would make up for that shortcoming in other ways. 

As this Senate Subcommittee receives testimony from the witnesses here today, 
there is no doubt that many lingering questions remain. For example: 

• Did the commanders involved benefit from this tragedy by sending our son 
home a hero? Did the risk involved in deceiving us initially about the cause 
of our son's death appear acceptable to the people involved? 

• What happened to the "original" battlefield paperwork and other documents 
that disclosed the evidence of friendly fire? 

• Were awards given or "forced" upon soldiers to keep them silent about the 
true facts surrounding Lance's death? 

• Is there a direct, viable, and recognized relationship between awards for valor 
on the battlefield, and military promotions? 

• Did one or more commanders involved in this friendly fire tragedy relinquish 
command by becoming directly involved in the attack? 

• Did a heated argument, which verged on physical violence, occur at Colonel 
Starr's Command HQ immediately after this incident? 

• Was Lieutenant Colonel Daly responsible for the actions of his gunner? 

• Why doesn't the U.S. Military provide to the families of friendly fire victims 
full disclosure of its investigations? 

THE ARMY ATTEMPTS TO INVESTIGATE AND EXPLAIN WHY WE WERE MISINFORMED 
ABOUT THE CAUSE OF LANCE'S DEATH 

MR. FIELDER: On January 25, 1992, Colonel Waller from the Army Inspector 
General's office came to Nashville to tell us about an Army investigation into the 
reasons why we had received erroneous notification about Lance's death. Colonel 
Waller began the meeting by telling us, "Well, Murphy is alive and well." The first 
thing that flashed into my mind was, "It's too bad our son is not." We were stunned 
by his comment. He continued, saying "To compound a comedy of errors, who would 
have ever believed the one soldier this happened to would also be the one whose 
mother spent three weeks with him in Germany and these soldiers think she is 
their mother, too!" We just listened. 

It is our opinion that Colonel Waller began his investigation with a predetermined 
conclusion, which Deborah feared would lead him to ignore the most troubling as- 
pects of the notification issue. For example, Colonel Waller seemed to discount com- 
pletely the testimony of a soldier who had pinned a death tag on Lance's uniform 
just before Lance was evacuated. That tag, which listed the cause of Lance's death 
as friendly fire, was missing when Lance's body arrived at the MASH unit where, 
with no information to the contrary, Lance was mistakenly listed as "Killed In Ac- 
tion" by Iraqi troops. The disappearance of the tag is apparently the reason why 
we were kept in the dark for so many months about the real cause of Lance's death. 

WE RECEIVE THE INSPECTOR GENERAL'S REPORT 

On April 20, 1992, we received a copy of the Army Inspector General's written 
report on its investigation of the notification issue. The report dealt in detail with 
the mechanics of the notification process and the shapes and sizes of various Army 
forms, but it only glossed over the facts surrounding what actually happened the 
night that Lance was killed. Deborah's fears were confirmed: Colonel Waller's report 
did not remotely resemble the verbal briefing that we had previously received from 



81 

him. The Inspector General's report was convoluted and misleading, but, above all, 
it seemed to confirm Colonel Waller's predetermined conclusions. 

MS. SHELTON: Then and there, for the first time, I really began to understand 
"the rules of engagement" in the truest sense of the term. We were dismayed by 
the Inspector General's report, but decided to press forward to find out what really 
happened to our son. We had concluded by this time that the Army was completely 
incapable of helping us discover the truth about our son's death. For example, I 
called General Edwin H. Burba, who signed several reprimands that the Army gave 
after Lance's death, to inquire about those reprimands. A representative from Gen- 
eral Burba's office called me back and said, "Quite frankly, madam, this is a mili- 
tary matter and none of your concern." 

THE TRUTH BEGINS TO UNFOLD 

We got an appointment at Senator Sasser's office in Washington with intent of 
requesting a GAO investigation into Lance's death and also the process of the entire 
investigation. In late April 1992, Ron and I traveled to Washington to meet with 
some of Senator Sasser's staff. After presenting our scenario and summary of the 
Inspector General's report and the dealings to date with the Army, Senator Sasser 
asked the GAO to review the case to see if an investigation would be warranted, 
this was in June 1992. 

On November 2, 1992, we find out the GAO does in fact agree with us and sees 
clear need for an investigation. We were told that GAO would begin its work in Jan- 
uary 1993. We later learned that the Army, through General Griffith, worked be- 
hind the scenes to hold up the investigation. By persuading Senator Sasser's office 
that he wanted to speak to us in person before the investigation started but then 
never calling us, General Griffith caused GAO to delay its work for nearly two 
months. 

When Senator Sasser was defeated, it became obvious to us that we needed an- 
other Senator to take up our cause and to push for the publication of the GAO re- 
port. We appreciate more than words can say the able assistance of Senator Thomp- 
son, who has carried our cause forward. We know our state is fortunate to have him. 
The voters of our state chose well, and our family thanks him from the bottom of 
our hearts. 

On April 22, 1994, GAO completed its investigation and we received a briefing. 
We learned then for the first time about the medals for valor that had been awarded 
to those who were involved in the attack on Lance's unit. We also learned of GAO's 
conclusion that Lieutenant Colonel John Daly, the commander of the unit that at- 
tacked Lance, failed to maintain adequate command and control over his squadron. 
GAO further concluded that Lieutenant Colonel Daly broke the rules of engagement 
that evening by firing at an unidentified target that was not firing back and that 
Daly knew — and failed to tell his soldiers — that there might be other Americans in 
the area. GAO also discovered that in the moments just before the attack, a soldier 
heard Lieutenant Colonel Daly report to his commander that Daly saw an Amer- 
ican-made vehicle but thought it belonged to the Iraqis. These findings confirm what 
we have believed for a long time — that Lieutenant Colonel Daly's negligence led di- 
rectly to the death of our son. 

MR. FIELDER: I am a police sergeant in Nashville, TN. As such, I know the re- 
sponsibility that goes with discharging a weapon in the line of duty. Military forces 
who kill the enemy are one of two things: disciplined and courageous, or undisci- 
plined and dangerous. In my opinion, the factors critical in making this distinction 
are leadership and the ability to command. Within the scope of American justice 
and law enforcement, we have specific guidelines, which include accountability to 
the citizens of America. 

In my capacity as Entry Leader on the SWAT team in Nashville, if I displayed 
such use of force in a similar situation, went to the wrong address, violated the 
rules of engagement, shot an unidentified person, and killed him, consequences for 
such actions would be swift. I can assure you there would be neither a medal nor 
a promotion. I would be immediately fired, charged with manslaughter or 2nd de- 
gree murder, and made to stand accountable. Failure of the Metropolitan Police De- 
partment to dismiss me immediately under such circumstances would undoubtedly 
result in a guilty verdict against the city for negligent retention. 

Some may think that Deborah and I hate the United States Army and that our 
hatred for that institution has been our motivation. Nothing could be further from 
the truth. We can't hate the Army. If we did, it would be like hating Lance because 
he loved being a part of the Army. There has never been a soldier who was more 
proud of wearing the Army uniform. On the contrary, we care so much about the 



82 

Army that we have spent the last four years trying to help it realize the loss of in- 
tegrity displayed in this matter. A very wise man has said in reference to this case 
that "This lie has done more harm to the military than a thousand truths would 
have done." Accountability and integrity in our military must be restored. 

MS. SHELTON: GAO discovered that soldiers in Lieutenant Colonel Daly's unit 
received valorous awards for the attack and that those awards were based on 
misstatements and misrepresentations. In April 1994, GAO briefed the Army in de- 
tail about those improper awards and the lies that supported them. The Army re- 
sponse to the briefing typifies everything the Army has done in this case. First, the 
Army sat on the information for a year, and only took action one day before GAO's 
final report was released in the spring of 1995. The timing of the Army's action can- 
not be a coincidence. Second, when the Army finally rescinded the Bronze Stars 
with "V" devices that were awarded to the soldiers in Lieutenant Colonel Daly's 
unit, it simultaneously reissued Bronze Stars and Army Commendation Medals for 
Merit to those same soldiers. This says that "although we no longer think killing 
your son was a valorous act, it was a meritorious act." 

This is appalling. It nauseates me to know that an American soldier would accept 
an award for valor based on a lie. Failure to accept responsibility is cowardice. And 
turning that failure into a career-enhancing event is an unspeakable act. As such, 
it tarnishes the honor of every brave soul who ever risked death by fighting for his 
or her country. It also breaks the hearts of those who love America. But, we know, 
brave hearts do prevail. 

I understand lies, regrets, and mistakes. Having worked to find the truth in this 
tragedy, I have also learned to recognize deceit for personal gain, military command- 
ers who do not command, and those who have no honor. 



PREPARED STATEMENT OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOHN DALY 

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to 
present my testimony before this committee. I hope that my comments and re- 
sponses to your questions will assist in your task of understanding what happened 
in the Iraqi Desert four and a half years ago. 

Sir, this is the first time I have been able to address Sergeant Fielder's family 
publicly. I want the Fielder family to know that I share their loss. From the moment 
of Sergeant Fielder's death, they have been in my thoughts and prayers. While con- 
fusion is normal in combat, the tragic combination of events that occurred in Feb- 
ruary 1991 resulting in the loss of their son is not something I take lightly. I want 
them to know that I share their sorrow and pain. I wish they could understand how 
utterly abhorrent I find that my actions and those of my subordinates have resulted 
in the death of a fellow soldier. 

Mrs. Shelton in an anguished letter to me expressed her hope that I shared the 
hell she is going through. I want her to know that I empathized with her when she 
wrote, 

"If there is a God, and I believe there is, I must trust him to make your 
journey for peace as difficult as mine." 

She should know that my journey has also been a difficult one. No grief is as 
great as a Mother's grief and I do not presume to compare mine with hers. However, 
I do think of their anguish and pain daily. Any semblance of normalcy in my life 
is and will always be overshadowed by this loss. 

One question I have heard repeatedly is why I have not contacted Sergeant Field- 
er's family directly to express my sympathies and to reach out to them. I can only 
tell you my reasons as I have told each official investigator and asked them to pass 
on to Sergeant Fielder's parents. Initially, I trusted the Army casualty notification 
system to handle the notification compassionately and properly through Sergeant 
Fielder's chain of command. Obviously, based on the 1992 House Armed Services 
Report, the Army let me and Sergeant Fielder's family down. I relied on the Army 
and VII Corps to do the right thing. You have other witnesses from the Army to 
explain the reasons the Army conducted itself that way. I will only say that I agree 
that it was a horrible way to handle this. The Fielders are understandably outraged 
at the way they were notified. We knew it had been friendly fire and we reported 
it immediately. The second reason I have not contacted them is that I have been 
under investigation from the moment it happened. Each time it looked like this had 
been resolved, another investigation began. My natural inclination toward compas- 
sionately reaching out was overshadowed by my responsibility not to discuss a case 
under investigation. I can, however, assure you that I have constantly reviewed and 
anguished over this decision. 



83 

The first issue I understand this committee is addressing is governmental ac- 
countability. I would like to address my own accountability in this case. I long ago 
accepted the responsibilities of command. When this incident occurred, offered to 
step down on the spot. My commander rejected this as he viewed that had a higher 
responsibility to the 1,000 men I was leading in combat. As I said in my letter to 
the Forces Command Commander, I understand that I as a commander am respon- 
sible for everything my unit does or fails to do. I have not attempted to escape those 
responsibilities, rather I ask that my actions be judged in light of the facts and cir- 
cumstances as we knew them at the time. From the beginning, I have been forth- 
coming. I freely gave my open and honest assessments without requesting an attor- 
ney. I provided hundreds of pages of testimony, and I took responsibility for my ac- 
tions. I encouraged openness from my subordinates in the belief that truth is the 
right policy. And, I have been reprimanded. And, this reprimand is publicly known 
and known throughout the Army and my profession. 

Sir, much has been said that I am the son-in-law of a former Chief of Staff of 
the Army and as such have received special treatment or protection from the Army 
and less punishment than I deserve. But, it has not been widely publicized that I 
never met him. He died 3 years before I met my brother-in-law. My brother-in-law 
was a major and I was a captain at that time. General Abrams died 7 years before 
I married his daughter. He has been dead 21 years. I am the son of a general offi- 
cer — who is also long dead. It has been said that I come from a long line of West 
Point graduates. This is true and we have a proud history of service to the Nation. 
I am not ashamed of my family. It is all very interesting and fills a few lines in 
a newspaper article. It is not germane to either the issue before you or to the per- 
formance of my duties. It is not germane to the issue of how the Army investiga- 
tions were conducted or the conclusions drawn or the punishment received. 

It has been said that I am in a career enhancing job in the Pentagon. The truth 
is that I am in a sort of military purgatory. Yes, my name goes forward for consider- 
ation for schooling and promotion; independent boards of officers have repeatedly se- 
lected me for these, but schooling and promotion are blocked. Normally, I would 
have gone to school three years ago and been promoted this summer. These will not 
come to pass until this case is resolved, if at all. For the past three years, I have 
been at the same desk doing the military equivalent job of one of a research assist- 
ant. This is not a career enhancing position. In my experience, over 50% of the Lieu- 
tenant Colonels in the Pentagon leave the Service from the Pentagon. I have lived 
with constant allegations of lying, receiving favoritism, influencing others, 
scapegoating, and covering up. Although these allegations are not true, they impugn 
my integrity and destroy my reputation. 

I think it would be helpful to remember why we were there — half way around the 
world. We were sent by our country to deter a further Iraqi attack on Saudi Arabia. 
Then, we were told to attack and destroy Sadam Hussien's Army for the purpose 
of freeing Kuwait. This was the largest Armored maneuver force since Inchon. My 
unit alone, the 3d Squadron, had over 1,000 soldiers on about 100 combat vehicles 
(40+Tanks, 40+Bradley Fighting Vehicles, 6 Howitzers, plus supporting equipment). 
This was mechanized warfare on the grandest scale ever attempted. We expected 
a large number of casualties. We expected fierce fighting. We had reports of Iraqi 
deceptions on surrendering to draw in Americans and then opening fire. In short, 
we expected to fight a war. 

Sixty hours into a complex operation with leaders and soldiers who were tired, 
we all did our best with the training and experience we had in trying to defeat the 
Nation's enemy. That Sergeant Fielder died is a burden that I will forever carry. 
The meaning of the phrase "fog of war" has no better example than the confusion 
that took place in the Iraqi desert four and a half years ago and the confusion that 
still exists based on the evidence you hear today. However, I firmly believe that I 
acted as any reasonable combat commander would have acted had he been in this 
situation regrettable as the outcome was. 

Mr. Chairman, this concludes my opening remarks. What are your questions? 



PREPARED STATEMENT OF SARA E. LISTER 

Thank you for the opportunity to testify on behalf of the Department of the Army 
and to address the issues arising from the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment's actions 
on the night of February 27th, 1991, and the subsequent actions — and missteps — 
by the Army. I am accompanied today by General Ron Griffith, the new Vice Chief 
of Staff for the Army, formerly the Army Inspector General and before that, the 
Commander of the 1st Armored Division in Operation Desert Storm. As you know, 
General Griffith is uniquely qualified to speak of Desert Storm, and of the fratricide 



84 

incident at issue here. I am also accompanied by Major General Mike Nardotti, the 
Judge Advocate General of the Army. He can speak to issues of the Uniform Code 
of Military Justice and the AR 15-6 investigation process. 

Shortly after being sworn in as Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower 
and Reserve Affairs I attended a briefing by the GAO on the preliminary results 
of their investigation into the tragic fratricide incident on the night of February 27, 
1991, in Iraq. I knew nothing of the incident; but I remember that briefing well, 
for we listened to the tape recording which the GAO had discovered. It was the first 
time the Army leadership had heard that tape. I was impressed at that time with 
the professionalism of the GAO investigators; now that I have studied their written 
report my first opinion is confirmed. I want to thank the GAO, particularly Barbara 
Cart and Randy Stone, for their professionalism and for their thoroughness. Their 
inquiry was handled with extraordinary care and concern for the families — espe- 
cially the family of Sergeant Douglas Lance Fielder — a family which has suffered 
enormously. First in the loss of their son, and then in their loss of faith that the 
Army, as an institution, will bring this fratricide incident to a closure marked by 
justice and compassion. The Army regrets the pain and suffering we have caused 
Sergeant Fielder's family. I want them to know that we have learned much from 
this incident and we are committed to acting to avoid a repetition in the future. 

I intend to deal with four issues that have been of great concern to the Army lead- 
ership, and which I know are of concern to this subcommittee. I want to state at 
the outset that the Army made serious errors with respect to all these issues. But 
in the end, the Army itself continued to ask questions about this fratricide incident 
until the truth was uncovered. And the Army has learned from its mistakes, has 
already changed some procedures, and is in the process of revising others. I can as- 
sure you that the Army will bring this tragic event to closure; not soon enough, to 
be sure, but using procedures marked by due process and fairness. 

Areas of concern are: first, the investigation of the incident; second, the casualty 
notification process; third, tbe awards issued to personnel involved in the incident; 
and finally, other personnel issues. 

INVESTIGATION OF THE INCIDENT 

There were two separate investigations into the events surrounding the tragedy 
of 27 February 1991. Both investigations were conducted under the commander's 
authority provided in Army Regulation 15-6. Both were seriously flawed; but in 
each case the Army itself continued to ask new questions, and challenge conclusions 
and recommendations, until all the facts were revealed. 

The preliminary investigation was directed by the Commander of the 3d Armored 
Cavalry Regiment. This investigation was initially concluded on March 3, 1991, re- 
opened because of questions asked by elements in the Army intent on finding the 
facts, and concluded a second time on May 4, 1991. The investigating officer was 
a military lawyer, a captain serving as the Command Judge Advocate for the 3d 
ACR. Looking back, it is clear that the Army put this young captain in an untenable 
position. He was a good lawyer, by all reports — but in this investigation he had to 
examine the actions of officers who were his direct superiors, which generally is for- 
bidden by regulation, except in exigent circumstances. Further, he operated under 
severe time constraints and the turbulence due first, to the continuing combat oper- 
ations, and then to the Army's efforts to redeploy soldiers from the Persian Gulf as 
quickly as possible. 

Whatever the reasons, the initial investigation was insufficient. However, the 
Army itself recognized the shortcomings of the initial investigation, and, in the end, 
the system did work. A second investigating officer was appointed — this time a brig- 
adier general, to conduct a thorough and complete inquiry. That investigation was 
concluded on March 17, 1992. A copy of it was provided by the Commanding Gen- 
eral of the XVIII Airborne Corps to the Department of the Army and to his superior, 
the Commanding General, Forces Command. 

The second investigation was reviewed in detail by the Army Inspector General 
and the investigating officer briefed the Vice Chief of Staff on his observations and 
findings. Questions raised by the Inspector General were referred by the Director 
of the Army Staff, Lieutenant General Dominy, to the Commanding General of 
Forces Command, General Burba. General Burba's Staff Judge Advocate — a senior 
military lawyer — also gave the report a critical legal review. The facts were accu- 
rate: the conclusions and recommendations were found to be insufficient. 

As a major command commander, General Burba was the official responsible for 
taking appropriate action to resolve questions raised by the DAIG and to address 
any other matters arising from his review of the investigation. On the advice of his 
Staff Judge Advocate, General Burba disapproved certain conclusions and rec- 



85 

ommendations of the investigating officers. Most importantly, he rejected the conclu- 
sion that the actions and decisions of all individuals involved in the fratricide inci- 
dent were reasonable and appropriate under the circumstances of combat. General 
Burba did not find, nor did his Staff Judge Advocate recommend that he find, that 
any person was criminally liable for the death of Sergeant Fielder. 

It is important to note here that despite the inadequacies of the initial investiga- 
tions, the Army's final report of investigation contains essentially the same facts as 
found by the GAO, with the exception of the audio tape discovered by the GAO in- 
vestigator. 

The Secretary of the Army has directed that a copy of the GAO's final report, 
which we received in late April, be provided together with the other reports of inves- 
tigation to the Commanding General of the Military District of Washington. He has 
been instructed to reexamine the disciplinary actions taken as a result of the inci- 
dent and to review other matters, as appropriate, arising from the disciplinary re- 
view. We expect that review will be completed in early September. 

Army Regulation 15-6 is currently under review. AR 15-6 provides commanders 
at all levels with an essential, fact-finding tool. Used properly, it provides thorough 
yet expeditious answers to significant issues. The Judge Advocate General, as the 
proponent of the regulation, is overseeing the review. The leadership of the Army 
will ensure that a revised AR 15-6 gives Commanders even clearer guidelines to 
follow in such investigations to ensure the problems identified in this case are not 
repeated. 

CASUALTY NOTIFICATION PROCESS 

I am aware that there were serious problems with the information given next of 
kin when the casualty was due to possible fratricide. The process used then — and 
the delay in notification — has been thoroughly examined by the Army, the Depart- 
ment of Defense, and the Congress. One thing is clear, the process used in peace- 
time to report, for example, a training accident, cannot be overlayed on a wartime 
environment. Nevertheless, the current process is designed to ensure that families 
obtain accurate information as soon as it is available to the Army. Everyone should 
be perfectly aware that the mistakes made in the casualty notification process were 
honest mistakes. No one involved in the process intended to provide false informa- 
tion; nevertheless, I can assure you that this is an area of great concern to the en- 
tire Army leadership. The Army has taken action since Desert Storm to ensure that 
the casualty notification process is timely, accurate, and sensitive to the needs of 
the families whose loved ones are killed or wounded in service to their country. 

AWARDS ISSUED TO PERSONNEL INVOLVED IN THE FRATRICIDE 

Aside from the death of Sergeant Fielder itself, the most contentious and emo- 
tional issue arising from the events of February 27, 1991, are the awards given to 
personnel involved in some way with the incident. During Desert Storm, as is the 
Army practice in all major combat actions, authority to approve certain decorations 
is delegated to field commanders. This included authority to award the Bronze Star 
or Army Commendation Medal, for either valor (when presented with the "V" de- 
vice) or service (without the "V" device). 

In Operation Desert Storm, the approval authority for the Silver Star or a lower 
ranking decoration was delegated to division commanders (Major General). In the 
case of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, the commander was not a general officer, 
so the authority to issue these awards remained at the Corps level. In this case, 
the authority rested with the XVIII Airborne Corps Commanding General. 

Following the incident on the 27th of February, several soldiers were rec- 
ommended for valorous awards. Such awards are not appropriate for actions taken, 
even when in themselves evidencing bravery, if there is no enemy against whom the 
action is directed. Unfortunately, several valorous awards were presented in connec- 
tion with the February 27th incident, based on narratives that contained inaccurate 
information. 

It is true that the final Army review of the investigations recognized that there 
might well be a problem with some of the awards. The Commanding General of 
Forces Command, General Burba, approved the following course of action rec- 
ommended by his Staff Judge Advocate: 

"Following receipt and consideration of any reply to the proposed letters 
of reprimand, a determination be made as to whether a copy of the attached 
report of investigation be forwarded to the Adjutant General of the Army 
with a recommendation that the personnel files of (specific individuals) be 
reviewed to determine whether any personal awards and decorations pre- 
sented to them as a result of Desert Storm be withdrawn." 



86 

The review recommended by the FORSCCM Staff Judge Advocate did not occur. 
I do not believe that failure to follow through with such a review was intentional. 
We are in the process of following through on this recommendation. 

But our failures did not end with the lack of review of the awards after General 
Burba sent his recommendations forward. As the GAO report indicates, the GAO 
questioned whether the narrative justifying additional awards was accurate and rec- 
ommended that the Army take action. The DA Inspector General did conduct a sep- 
arate review of the valor awards issued to soldiers directly involved in the incident. 
In August of 1994, I received a memorandum from the DAIG asking that I review 
certain awards and determine whether they should be revoked. I endorsed that 
memorandum to the Adjutant General and the process of review did begin. 

We take responsibility for the delay in completing that review. The review was 
to include not only the awards to seven individuals involved in that fratricide, but 
also was to review any other awards that may have been improperly authorized for 
that and all other known fratricide incidents. 

As you know, the Army takes awards very seriously, and review of awards is time 
consuming. Because awards approval authority during Desert Storm was delegated 
to field commanders, the backup statements supporting each award could only be 
obtained through hand searches of unit files from four years ago. In many cases, 
unit records were not available. The process was further complicated by the fact 
that the Army encourages the individual whose award is in question to comment 
on any proposal to revoke the award. In some cases, the individuals involved had 
been released from active duty and time was spent locating them. 

Obviously, the intention was to be fair to soldiers whose service was exemplary, 
even if not valorous. But the process took too long. As of May 18, 1995, Secretary 
West has approved the revocation of the valorous awards and directed that no 
awards be reissued until the entire awards review is completed. The Secretary of 
the Army will consider any decorations recommended by the Adjutant General for 
individuals involved in the Desert Storm fratricide incidents. 

In conclusion, I can only say that our process is flawed, and must be revised to 
ensure that review of doubtful awards is done expeditiously. For example, we are 
changing our regulations so that the authorization for an individual to wear an 
award on their uniform is suspended whenever an appropriate official determines 
that there is reason to doubt the validity of the award, or where there is reason 
to believe that the supporting documents for the award contain erroneous or mis- 
leading statements or misrepresentations of fact. The suspension would remain in 
effect until review of the award is completed. 

Detailed review of awards for all personnel involved in Desert Storm fratricide in- 
cidents is continuing. We expect to have recommendations forwarded to the Sec- 
retary of the Army by mid-August at the latest. 

OTHER PERSONNEL ISSUES 

Many of the officers and soldiers who were involved in the incident are no longer 
on active duty. Only the former Commander of the 3rd Squadron, 3rd ACR, is still 
on active duty. The former Commander of I Troop, 3rd Squadron, 3rd ACR, a Cap- 
tain, has left active duty. The senior commander on the ground, the former Com- 
mander of the 3rd ACR, a Colonel, voluntary retired from active duty in late 1992. 

It is difficult to discuss personnel actions in any detail because of the privacy 
rights of the officers involved, and because other issues are still under review and 
I cannot prejudice the decision-making process. 

As noted in the GAO Report, letters of reprimand were initially prepared and pro- 
vided to the three commanders for their comments and return to the Commander, 
Forces Command. General Burba, after reviewing the comments of the officers took 
the following actions: 

(a) After examining the remarks of the Commander of I Troop, General 
Burba withdrew the proposed letter of reprimand. 

(b) General Burba did find the actions of the 3rd ACR Commander made 
him sufficiently culpable in the incident to warrant allowing the reprimand 
to stand, but determined that his reply contained additional extenuation 
and mitigation. Thus, the reprimand was allowed to stand but was not 
placed in the officer's military personnel file. 

(c) The letter of reprimand for the remaining officer, the squadron com- 
mander, from whose command vehicle the shots fatal to Sergeant Fielder 
were fired, was filed in the officer's local military personnel records jacket 
for one year. 



87 

In due course, the former squadron commander was considered for attendance at 
a senior service college, as prescribed by Army policy and for promotion to full Colo- 
nel, as required, by law. In each case, the officer was nominated by the Selection 
Board. However, action was taken by then acting Secretary of the Army Shannon 
in March, 1993, to delay the officer's attendance at Senior Service College, and by 
Secretary West in January, 1994, to delay the officer's promotion, until the GAO's 
report could be received and an additional review conducted of the officer's qualifica- 
tions for school and promotion. 

The Army has a formal process for reconsidering officers for promotion and school- 
ing. This process ensures fairness to the individual but also prevents persons who 
are determined to be mentally, physically, morally, or professionally unqualified for 
promotion from assuming the higher grade. Information about this process has been 
provided to your staff. 

In summary, mistakes were made. We have learned from these mistakes, and will 
continue to work to avoid their reoccurrence. In particular, we want Sergeant Field- 
er's family to know that we honor their son's service and sacrifice. 

Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. 



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ELECTRO\ : T l.'A FORM •:' ?: < RE/. OMMENDAT 1 ON Ff.-r, AWARD' 

".ER '. TOR : CL'r A 1- -:; EV^r.Er.T 

70: COMMANDER FilCM: REGIMENTAL :?- : 

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PART II - RECOMMENDATION FOR AWARD FOR ACHIEVEMENT OS SERVICE 

10. 24 EE? 90-7 MAR ?2 

12. AA."1 COLO, ARCOM •'.;: OLC). MSM (1 OLCJ 

FAR7 III - N/A 

PAR7 IV - PROPOSED CITATION 

FOR EXCEPTIONALLY MERITORIOUS AND VALORGUS ACHIEVEMENT as COMMANDS?* 

THIRD SQUADRON, THIRD ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT, DURING OPERATIONS DESERT 

SHIELD AND DESERT STORM. THROUGH HIS CALM BUT TENACIOUS LEADERSHIP, THE 

THUNDER SQUADRON SMOOTHLY TRANSITIONED FROM A CONUS .FIELD ENVIRONMENT TO 

COMSAT OPERATIONS IN SOUTH WEST ASIA, OVERCOMING EXTREMES OF ENVIRONMENT 

AND DISTANCE A3 WELL AS FiELDiKS 0- ALL New COMBAT SYSTEMS. CURING COMBAT 

OPERATIONS DEEP INTO IRAQ, HE ALWAYS LED SY EXAMPLE AT THH SQUADRON'S 

CRITICAL POINTS CM THE BATTLEFIELD, EXPERTLY GUIDING THE SQUADRON'S COMSAT 

FORCE TO QUICKLY OVERWHELM ENEMY RESISTANCE. LIEUTENANT COLONEL DALY'S 

MANNER OF PERFORMANCE REFLECTS GREAT CREDIT ON HIMSELF. THE REGIMENT OF 

MOUNTED RIFLEMEN AND THE UNITED STATES ARMY. 

PART V - OTHER INSTRUCTIONS AND AUTHENTICATION 

16. NARRATIVE '-T. REGIMENTAL COMMANDER 

IS. :*! DOUGLAS H. STARR, ASRD COL 
:•?. COMMANDER, 3RD AC?.. COMMANDING 



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WHILE SERVING AS COMMANDER, C-D S&UADRON. GD ARMORED CAVALRY 
REG IMENT DURING OPERATION? DESERT SKI ELD AND DE9ERT STORM; lTC 
.JOHN DALY HAS DISTINGUISHED HIMSELF BY DOTH MERITORIOUS ANB 
VALOROUS ACTION. FROn 10 AUGUST 1990 TO 17 JANUARY 1991. LTC 
DALY'S CALK BUT TENACIOUS LEADERSHIP UAS EVER PRESENT AS HE 
FORMED THE SQUADRON INTO AN AGILE, COHESIVE FIGHT I NO UNIT WHILE 
SIMULTANEOUSLY ENSURING THE BELT LIVING CONDITIONS POSSIBLE FOP. 
HIS TROOPERS. DURING THE GROUND CAMPAIGN. 24-23 FEBRUARY 1991, 
LTC DALY DISTINGUISHED HInSELF EY VALOROUS ACTION DY CONSISTENTLY 
PLACING HIMSELF i^ITH THE LEAD TROOP OR POINT OF MOST LIKELY ENEMY 
CONTACT DURING OUR 200 MILE OFFENSIVE DRIVE INTO IRAQ. THE MOST 
SIGNIFICANT DEMONSTRATION OF VALOR OCCURED ON 26-27 FEBRUARY 
1991; DURING A NIGHT ATTACK OF AN ENEMY AIRFIELD. AS THE 
S3UADR0N CLOSED ON THE OBJECTIVE AREA. I TROOP REPORTED THEY WERE 
RECEIVING HOSTILE FIRE. LTC DALY, WITHOUT HESITATION OR CONCERN 
FOR HIS PERSONAL SAFETY, MOVED TO THE POINT OF CONTACT. 
MONITORING THE BATTLE FROM THE TfcC, IT MAS. APPARENT THAT LTC DALY 
HAD MOVED INTO AN AREA IN WHICH DISMOUNTED TROOPS AND AT LEAST 
ONE BURNING VEHICLE HAD BEEN OBSERVED. LTC DALY CALMLY AND 
SYSTEMATICALLY SORTED THROUGH THE CONFUSION AND DIRECTED THE 
ACTIONS OF I TROOP IN CLEARING THE OBJECTIVE. ' AT ONE POINT 
DISMOUNTING HIS OWN OBSERVERS TO ASSIST. THROUGHOUT THIS ENTIRE 
NIGHT ATTACK, .AND GROUND CAMPAIGN. LTC DALY'S CALM AND DECISIVE 
LEADERSHIP UAS EVER PRESENT. IN ALL PHASES OF THIS OPERATION, 
LTC DALY'S SERVICE HAS BEEN REPLEAT WITH VAOLuRIOUS AND 
MERITORIOUS ACTION. 



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6 --on-»,*u John Daly has done an absolutely outstanding job la Desert Shield and Storm. Orche- 
strating the deployment" of his Squadron by rail, air, and sea over 10,000 miles, he deployed 
safely and efficiently, prepared to move into the desert almost immediately upon arrival in 
Saudi Arabia. After moving directly into the desert from' port, John commenced a desert train- 
ing and maintenance program designed to emphasize and Improve desert training begun at Ft. 
Bliss for KTC. He focused on individual training due to having several hundred new arrivals, 
but integrated the focus on maintenance/ services and collective Squadron maneuver skills re- 
quisite to success In desert operations. As a result'' his' Squadron enjoyed exceptionally good 
OR rates (95-981 combat vehicles) and rapidly became a tactically adroit combat-ready Squad- 
ron. In Desert Storm John crossed the ID with the difficult mission of screening the Corps 
right flank up to 123 KM at one point and moved bis Squadron over 325 KH In 48 hra, capturing 
during one night attack an Important airfield subsequently used by the 101st Air Assault Div. 
for offensive operations. John's Squadron switched out both Its tank and Bradley Fleet (the 
tanks only two days before the ground -var) and It took care of Its soldiers and waiting family 
aembers beautifully. As a result, morale and esprit and a winning attitude mrevalled. Through 
John's talent and drive, the Squadron vas a key co the Regiment's success 1st Saudi Arabia and 
Iraq. This Squadron accomplished every mission given It quickly, violently, and successfully! 



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John 'Daly has It all - all of the traits and (characteristics requisite to' 
service at the very highest levels. Promote ASAF - must command a Brigade/Regiment. John is 
without question General Officer material. 



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-=>—'■•" LTC John Daly's performance at a squadron commander 
during all phases of Desert Shield/Storm was simply outstand- 
ing. He possesses and blends all Cbe skills and attribute* to 
make him. truly one of the very heat. His maintenance and 
training programs conducted In a harsh, bare-based environ- 
ment resulted inls combat ready maneuver force. Klslaoldiers 
and combat systems performed flawlessly, even though he 'switch 
ed out tanks and Bradleys Just two daya before Che ground 
attack. . John's squadron performed the crlticsl mission of 
screening the Corps flank with VII Corps (at one point this 
stretched him 1251) In a magnificent fashion. This allowed 
both Corps to rapidly, exploit the tactical situation and con- 
tributed significantly to the overwhelming success of Desert 
Storm. unlimited potential. Sslcct for Army Vac College. 
Promote and -select -for- 06 level 'command. CO. potential. 



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I. ^/foj?/V AT. &/9£/ WANT TO HAKC TM« FOLLOWING ST»rmtKT UHOC* OATMl 

Q&A: Questions were asked by Captain Jacquot and answered by LTC Daly. 

Q: Who told you at the passage point not to fire south of 50 gridline and turn 
attack from N/S to E/W? 
A: Colonel Starr. 

Q: Were you informed that 1st AD had reported the airport clear and friendlies 

in the area? 

A: No, I thought it was a hostile airfield and I encountered an airfield that 

was much more extensive than what I had seen on the map. I was expecting a dirt 

airstrip. 

Q: Did anyone at Regiment authorize you to engage targets outside the boundary? 
A: No. 

Q: What is your understanding of the ROE as applied to firing outside the 

boundary? 

A: If I am in contact and receiving hostile fire, I may return fire. 

Q: Did you see imagery of the airfield? 

A: No, I did not see any imagery for this attack or any other attack I was 
involved in during the war. All the imagery that I saw during the war appeared 
to be outdated and Irrelevant. I saw no imagery for this attack. 

Q: a) What do you recall as weather conditions? b) Did they have any effect 
on the situation? 

A: a) It had stopped raining, it was cold, with a slight wind. Illumination 
was not a factor since the burning building (which I now know to be a trailer) 
was brighter than any other Illumination. However, the cloud cover brought the 
illumination to down near zero, b) The weather had no effect on the immediate 
situation ^ however, the- rain storms earlier in the evening may have had a 
general effect on the soldiers. 



«Hth 



Q: Why did the squadron commander authorize his own gunner to fire the fatal 
rounds when he had numerous other combat vehicles available, several which were 
closer to the target? 

A: Because the SQD CMDR had absolute control over his gunner and. did not have 
to operate through anyone else. Furthermore, the difference in proximity to the 
target was one vehicle length at the most, making distance to the target not a 
factor. 




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Q: Were all your personnel wearing CVC helmets? 
A: Yes. 

Q: Why could the engineers hear the voices of the 2,2 pe 
attack well enough to identify them as Americans, but the 
to hear the engineers yelling to each other? 
A: If you have CVC helmets on .and the engines are runnir 
hear as well as someone standing on the ground. The er.ci 
no actions, verbal or gestures, to indicate that they were 

Q: Why did the victoms clearly identify the 3/3 vehicles 
through NVGs before any_ rounds were f i. ed but the 3/3 per 
identify through their thermal sights the target vehicles 
all had both appropriate coalition markings and thermal i 
A: I have no earthly idea, by the time I was on the seen 
large burning mass and everything else was unrecognizable 

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add? 



A: No 



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B5»RT #. |p 

SWORN TESTIMONY OF LTC DALY, CONTINUED: 

LTC D: opposed to north/south. What that translated into was 
'.Cant J an east/west cut to the south and then continued 
east/west again. 

BG H: Had you been told about the report that there were 

friendlies in the area and that the 3d ACR request -for 
a bu-f.-fer zone had been disapproved? Did you know about 
this bu-f-fer rone and -friendly report? Had you been 
told that by the 3d ACR? 

LTC D: Sir, I don't recall being told that. I know there was 
discussion about the boundary but as -far as I knew. I 
was attacking through a -forward -force into enemy 
territory and to the south o-f me... I was the -furthest 
force -forward. 

BG H: Did anyone tell you why they changed the axis o-f the 
attack or did you just get a radio message that said 
attack east/west? Did you understand why that was all 
done? 

LTC D: Yes, Sir. I understood that it was because there was a 
boundary there. 



p ,F ii « A r 



102 



SWORN TESTIHONY OF LTC DALY, CONTINUED: 

BG H: You didn't know anything about a buffer zone? 

LTC D: Nat because there were friendlies there. It's because 
there was an intellectual discussion about a boundary 
as opposed to "There are friendly forces to your 
south. " 

BG H: Had you heard anything about a buffer zone request and 
disapproval of the buffer zone? 

LTC D: Sir, I don't recall that. 

BG H: What specific orders did you give I Troop and were they 
told to expect enemy in the area? What did you plant 
in the mind of the I Troop commander as far as what he 
was going to face and what he should do? 

LTC D: Sir, as far as we knew, and the instructions that I 

gave them, I was punching through, as I said earlier, 
to attack an airfield... attack and seize an airfield. 
Those words impli-ed that there were enemy present. 
Yes, I expected to run into enemy. All reports that we 



32 



F.VHJRF t 



103 



SWORN TESTIMONY OF LTC DALY, CONTINUED: 

EG H: "-■■!. at Dade you believe the vehicles were Iraqi? Or 
could you see the vehicles when you got there? 

LTC D: Sii", I saw a building. 

BG H: Tid you ever hear a report of a 548, which is an 
American-made vehicle? 

LTC D: After the -fact. 

BG H: During this process, no one ever told you that one of 
those vehicles was an American made S43? 

LTC D: I saw a building, Sir. 

BG H: You mentioned it was burning. Did you ever see a green 
star cluster? 

LTC D: < Yes, Sir. I saw a green star cluster come ■from the 

burning mass which I thought was a cook-off from this 
mass of ammunition. 



40 



F XH r r t T c 



104 



SWORN TESTIMONY OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOHN H. DALY, CONTINUED: 

LTC D: burning. So, one coke can with a light in it, I would 

have not seen. 
BG H: Did you ever at any tine receive a report o-f any 

friendlies being in the area'' 
LTC D: No sir. 

BG H: Did one of your main aissions involve maintaining 

any contact with any VII Corps unit? 
LTC D: No sir. 
BG H: Yours was just strictly attack and take the air-field? 

And you did not have any coordination mission or 

boundary Bission? 
LTC D: No sir. 
BG H: Why did you have in your attack ■formation so »uch -fire 

power •forward with a unclear enemy situation? In other 

words why did you chose that formation? 
LTC D; Because, I was in the attack mode sir. Me were 

attacking to seize an airfield and so rather than 

putting scouts -forward at that time I put my heavy 

metal -forward. 
BG H: In a letter to a senator CPT Friesen has made a couple 

of allegations, that I'd like to ask you about and 

give a chance to coaocnt. One o-f those had to do with 



105 



Z -,-~~l TC~.7It:0NY OF LTC DA_Y , "'."I V_EZ : 

'_TC D: 7 -, -...■ sap sheet i.-.d overlay had the Corps tour::-. z~ 
i 'w. I cvcrhcsrd portions of the discussion that the 
rcgi.-r.er.t haC with ... with the regimental commander 
speaking ts the """ :;;_t the boundary being there. I 
did not understand that there were portions of their 
train; there. As -far as I knew, I was attacking ir.to 
en area that had no enemy in it. That boundary, yes, 
extended -forward, but I did not understand that the'e 
»-~s -friendly -forces there. 

D3 H: CFT Friesen testified that the impression he had... ths 
i i. formation thst"he had was that he should e::pect to 
encounter some dug-in Iraqis there, perhaps even up to 
battali-on size. Do you know if that was the 
infercation he was given? What was your impression 
about the enemy that was likely there? Did you go in 
with the impression that there probably were enemy 
there or there probably were not enemy there or what c: 
you think the mind-set was? Did you go in with the 
impression that there probably wb'b enemy there or 
there probably were not enemy there or what do you 
think the mind-set was at your level concerning that 
objective and what to e::pect there" 1 



EXHIBIT 



106 



SWORN TESTIMONY OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOHN H. DALY, CONTINUED: 

LTC D: No sir. We talked on the radio. 

BG H: Why did you think the attack direction was changed? 
What did you think about that mission change? 

LTC D: I knew that they did not want to go South of a Line, 
because that was the Corps boundary. My impression 
was, and this was a year later, so it a little hazy. 
There weren't people there but we were honoring the 
boundary. 

BG H: Did you get a update on the enemy situation at that 
time and the friendly situation, at that time? 

LTC D: No, I just don't remember sir. 

BG H: So, when you attacked, the enemy situation in your mind 
was basically the same as your were brie-fed previously 
which is there were people on the objective? 

LTC D: There should have been people on the objective and the 
people were either giving up in droves on not giving up 
in droves. My impression was that all across the Army 
we just did not know. Every time you came across an 
Iraqi, it was another situation that you better be 
careful with. 

BG H: Did anyone ever give you any specific locations of 

friendlies or even the word that probably there were 



107 



SWORN TESTIMONY OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOHN H. DALY, CONTINUED: 

LTC D: not have a direct conversation about that. There may 
have been conversation on the Regimental net about 
that. But, sir you have to understand this is more -for 
the record and I don't mean to lecture you. The phrase 
"It was a dark and stormy night", took on added meaning 
for us. It was very dark and it was very wet and we 
were trying to do something that is at all times a 
dicey operation and that is pass one combat unit 
through another combat unit. While that was going on 
we were then going to make a change in the plan and the 
plan at that point had been strictly a radio plan at 
that point. All of my concentration was on moving my 
force, keeping my force intact and in contact with each 
other and trying to do this pass through, make a right, 
make a left and then attack. My concentration was not 
on the Regimental Commanders net. I was concentrated 
on my troop commanders in moving through the 1st 
Squadron. 

BG H: After you had this change in mission. Did you ever 
have eye to eye contact with COL Starr? 

LTC D: Not to my recollection. No sir. 

BG H: He never came down and briefed after the change? 



108 



SWORN TESTIMONY OF LTC DALY, CONTINUED: 



SG H: Just two simple questions. The first is the troop 

command-cr said that he had called a cease fire cr check 
•fire o-f mis unit, did you hear that? Had that bear. 
transmitted back to you? 

LTC D: Sir, the first I knew of that was when I read it in the 

Washington Post. 



EG H: 



LTC D: 



BG H: 



TC D: 



Tell ir.s a little bit more about the events right when 
you had your gunner shoot. Someone said "They're 
getting a«; 
gunner? 



ay. 



Was that you saying that or your 



Mo. That 'was my gunner saying that, Sir. 



Is said that to youl 



Yes, Sir, gGT Wolborsky. As you know, be-fore the 

record... CFT Venezia was there and listening in the 

I 

net as was^ . . I carried a commo sergeant in the back o-f 

my vehicle throughout the war, just in case. So he 

heard i t as 1 wel 1 . 



88 



EXHIBIT H 



109 



SWORN TESTIMONY OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOHN H. DALY, CONTINUED: 

LTC D: in contact with an enemy who had -fired on us and we 
were now assessing the situation and moving into a 
positions to either capture or kill these people. 

BG H: So, then are saying that you -feel his check -fire was a 
■fire control measure as opposed to a legal cease -fire? 

LTC D: Yes sir. It was absolutely not what has been reported 
in the press as a cease -fire-stop the war. This was 
just a control measure the same as I would say to my 
gunner in my tank "Fire" / "Cease Fire" 

BG H: Did you ever check your position with that 50 Grid 
Line? 

LTC D: I remember as I was moving down I think I was looking 
at my slugger, but, because I was in contact with an 
enemy -force, t.'-e 50 Grid Line no longer held the same 
meaning for me. Once I was told to go into that 
Southern air-field and once I was fired upon. A 
commander who is contact with an enemy force that 
has fired at him has the right to return fire. Thats 
how I viewed the situation. 

BG H: Where any logs or graphics of that action, do you have 
any of those that I might not have? 

LTC D: I don't think so. My Squadron command tactical 

operations center vehicle went down just prior to that 

16 



110 



s;:crw testimony of ltc daly, continued: 

CPT C: I', you could initial on the waiver... and also, you need 
t>i :.ign the signature of interviewee. Sir, if you 
cauld sign that as interviewer ... SSG Shaver, if you 
could sign th*t as a wi tness. . .Sir , for the record, I'd 
like to remind you that you have been placed under 
oath. 



LTC D: 



:hec! 



CPT C: 



Sir? 



BG H: CUay, CFT FViesen, when we talked to him a few minutes 
ago, said that at some point in time, that night in 
Iraq, you had mentioned to him to "Keep this under your 
hat." Did you say that and if so what did you mean by 
that? 

LTC D: Sir, I don't recall saying that. If I said anything 

like that it was that I didn't want rumors to be 

running through the troop prior to the investigating 

t 
officer arriving. The regiment... again, we were on 

the move. We were involved in a campaign that was 



91 



EXHIBIT H- 



Ill 



SWORN TESTIMONY OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOHN H. DALY, CONTINUED: 

BG H: identified himself? 

LTC D: No sir. It wasn't when the lieutenant identified 

himsel-f that we knew that they were Americans, it was 
when CPT Vincencia ran back and told me they're 
Americans, at that point I called the regimental 
commander. 

BG H: So there was never any con-fusion after that? 

LTC D; Once he said they were Americans there was no confusion 
at all. 

BG H: And there was no attempt to report it any other way by 
any person that you know of? 

LTC D: No sir. 

BG H: There was some testimony by CPT Freisen, that you had 
said to him to "keep this under your hat." Who heard 
that and what did you mean, what can you tell me about 
that conversation? 

LTC D: Soldiers like to talk and rumors get started very 

easily in an organization. What I told Freisen was 
not to talk to anybody until we had an investigator 
here, because I knew by the time spoke to Freisen. The 
Regimental Commander had told me to freeze everything 
in place and that he was sending an investigator 

21 



112 



on twestigations 



SWORN TESTIMONY OF LIEUTENANT GENERAL RONALD H. GRIFFITH, 
CONTINUED: 



LTG Gi after he left I told him I'd go out there and check it 
out and see what it was. If it was the same airfield I 
personally went up to the air-field in my HUMMV. 

BG H: It is a little confusing, because there are two airfields 
in that general vicinity about 20kms apart out in the 
middle of the desert. So, witnesses »re sometimes are 
confusing the two and I'm not sure. Obviously, you 
either passed over or our your troops passed over that 
airfield or very near it. 

LTG G: . Yes, I think that the elements of our 2d Brigade 

crossed directly over it, but I could not be certain 
about that. 

BG H: And it is clear that 1st Armored Division reported 

back to the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment that they felt 
the airfield was cleared? 

LTG G: Right. 

BG H: Sir, do you have anything further to add? 

LTG G: No, I don't have anything further. That is all I 

know' at first hand. Again I would like to emphasize 
that there was plenty of discussion and it should have 
been absolutely clear in those discussions between us 
and the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, because at that time 
we were not vague about the airfield. Because we were . 



113 



SWORN TESTIMONY OF LIEUTENANT GENERAL RONALD H. GRIFFITH, 
CONTINUED: 



LTQ Gi not talking about whether or not it was one or two 

airfields. We were talking about a specific grid on the 
ground. Again, we made it clear that we had people in 
that area and that we did not want firing in that area 
because we had people on the ground in that area. 

BG H: O.K. sir, thank very much for your statement. 



114 






Eor ^* _t2L_ 



SWORN TESTIMONY OF COLONEL DOUGLAS H. STARR, CONTINUED: 

COL S: directly on the boundary and that was what cause me to 
ask for it. 

BG Hi Did you know the reason why the buffer rone was denied? 

COL S: I was not told the first time why the bu-f-fer zone was 
denied, but I asked that question. At the same time I 
asked my folks to go back and emphasize the need for the 
buffer zone and the boundary shift. I quess I ought to 
depart from here for just a second, we have been using 
interchangeably the term buffer zone and boundary shift, 
when in actuality what we had asked for was an extension 
of the zone of 5 kilometers deep or South and of a 
certain width and I can't remember exactly but we drew 
the box on the map and I was very clear to the 1st 
Armored Division, but they denied that. I asked why and 
I asked for it again, but when they came back and 
indicated that I could not have it, that indicated to me 
In terms that they could not be certain whether they had 
any troops there. 

BG H: Do you. recall if you passed that information to the 
squadrons? 

COL Si I passed to them the fact that we could not have the 
boundary shift. The reason why we could not have the 
boundary shift was because the 1st Armored Division 



/ 



115 



SWORN TESTIMONY OF COLONEL DOUGLAS H. STARR, CONTINUED: 

COL S: like everyone else could not account -for every vehicle. 
I passed that to the 3d Squadron at the same time that 
I changed the graphics and the order to move North bound 
through the new access West - East. 

BG H: Can you recall if that was in an personal conversation 
between you and LTC Daly or was that TOC to TOC? 

COL S: It was all three, TOC to TOC, it was my S-3 to the 

3d Squadron operations oHicer and right be-fore the LD 
time my S-3 and I drove over there in Bradley* and met 
with both the 3d Squadron S-3 and the 3d Squadron 
Commander and went over the new graphics which comprised 
of an attack West - East and reaffirm the sanctity of the 
original boundary which I think was the 50 grid line. 

BS H: Did LTC Daly back brie-f you on his plan? 

COL S: In an informal sense, yes he did. I questioned him at 
some length how he was positioning forces to do that. 

BG H: When you changed your attack plan what was your 

assessment of the battle field at that time and the enemy 
situation? 

COL S: Well, it was very uncertain I think everyone was a little 
perplexed as to why we were not meeting more resistance 
and encountering more enemy. We had no indication that 



116 



SWORN TESTIMONY OF COLONEL DOUGLAS H. STARR, CONTINUED: 

COL S: the air-field would be occupied, but we knew that if 

there were any likelihood of encountering resistance that 
it would be out of that built up area of the airfield. 

BG H: So based on the 1st Armored Division's report that they 

had passed near that airfield and the OHSSD recon and the 
intelligence situation you felt that there may be or may 
not be enemy on the objective? 

COL S: To my knowledge both then and -know, no one had passed 
through that airfield. We had done some aviation 
reconnaissance, but of course I had no troops on the 
ground out there. I had no reason to believe that there 
was enemy out there but again like I said because of the 
fluid nature of this situation and our wondering where 
the Iraqi troops were. We thought that if we did run 
into any enemies that night it would be at that airfield. 

BG H: You decided to go ahead and fire the artillery prep. 
Did you offset that some or did you go ahead and fire 
it because of the uncertain enemy situation? What was 
your thinking on the prep? 

COL S: My thinking was that it was a likely enemy location 
it was in fact an objective and it was Just logical 



117 




DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY 

HEADQUARTERS FORCES COMMAND 
FORT MCPHERSON. GEORGIA 30330-6000 



FCJA 14 April 1992 

MEMORANDUM FOR FIRST LIEUTENANT KEVIN J. WESSELS, EXECUTIVE 
OFFICER, HEADQUARTERS AND HEADQUARTERS 
COMPANY, 54TH ENGINEER BATTALION, WILDFLECKEN, 
GERMANY, APO NY 09026 

SUBJECT: Memorandum of Admonition 

1. It has come to my attention that while serving as the 
Executive Officer, Company C, 54th Engineer Battalion, during 
Operation DESERT STORM, elements of Company C were under your 
command while you were located south of an Iraqi airfield 
waiting recovery of your disabled vehicle. During the early 
morning hours of 27 February 1991, elements of the 3d Armored 
Cavalry Regiment took action to secure this airfield which 
resulted in the death of one of the soldiers under your command, 
Corporal Lance Fielder. 

2. A review of the Report of Investigation into this matter 
reveals that you should have been more diligent in the execution 
of your duties and responsibilities concerning defensive 
measures against an enemy attack. Your failing may have 
indirectly contributed to this tragic incident. You are 
admonished for your inattention to detail. 

3 . This admonition is imposed as an administrative measure and 
not as punishment under the provisions of Article 15, UCMJ, and 
I am not making it a part of your official military records. 
However, I expect you to take appropriate corrective action. 





EDWIN H. BURBA, JR. 
General, USA 
Commanding General 



-f 



Se " ne *™"«m Suhcomm.tt* 

* '""WigltKWj 

EXUlHTi t> 



118 




A 



DEPARTMENT OF THE ARM' 

HE ADOUARTERS FORCES COMMAND 
FORT MCPHERSON GEORGIA 30330-6000 



FCJA 14 April 1992 

MEMORANDUM THRU COMMANDER, U.S. ARMY AIR DEFENSE ARTILLERY 
CENTER AND FORT BLISS, FORT BLISS, TX 
79916-0058 

FOR CAPTAIN BODO H. FRT^SEN, CHIEF, TRAINING DIVISION, 
DIRECTORATE OF PLANS, TRAINING, MOBILIZATION AND 
SECURITY, FORT BLISS, TX 79916-0058 

SUBJECT: Memorandum of Reprimand 

1. It has come to my attention that while serving as Commander, 
I Troop, 3d Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment during 
Operation DESERT STORM, elements of your command conducted a 
combat assault on a neighboring airfield during the early morning 
hours of 27 February 1991. During this assault, elements of 
Company C, 54th Engineer Battalion, were engaged resulting in the 
death of Corporal Lance Fielder. 

2. A review of the attached report of investigation reveals that 
you were negligent in executing your mission. After reviewing 
the report, I have a sound appreciation for the conditions at the 
time. It is my understanding that you were working with old 
maps, in bad weather, and at night. I also realize that you were 
conducting maneuver operations along a Corps boundary, which is 
difficult under circumstances of precise friendly locations and 
high fidelity communication, circumstances not attendant to your 
situation. You were further challenged with severe sleep 
deprivation, having to conduct this complex operation as your 
first fire fight under night vision device conditions, receiving 
erroneous spot reports of incoming fire and accommodating to 
adjacent friendly forces with inadequate and non-operating 
anti-fratricide devices. 

3. Despite these extenuating conditions, I am unable to explain 
or excuse the death of Corporal Fielder as an unfortunate 
incident of war. By negligently failing to ensure that you did 
not violate the Corps boundary on your right flank, you 
indirectly contributed to this tragic incident. 

4 . This reprimand is imposed as an administrative measure and 
not as punishment under the provisions of Article 15, UCMJ. You 



Sonne ParmaiMiri yshcwnmittefc 
EXHSBfT #'. .JH 



119 



FCJA 
SUBJECT: 



Memorandum of Reprimand 



are directed to acknowledge receipt of this reprimand. You have 
3 days from the date of this Reprimand to make any statement you 
wish me to consider concerning this matter. I have not decided 
if this letter will be filed in your Official Military Personnel 
File. I will make that decision after receipt of your 
acknowledgment and a review of any statement that you may elect 
to make, or the lapse of thirty days without receipt of any 
statement, whichever is sooner. 




EDWIN H. BURBA, JR. 
General, USA 
Commanding General 




120 




DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY 

HEAOOUARTERS FORCES COMMANO 
FORT MCPHERSON. GEORGIA 30330-6000 



(M 



PIPIT TO 
ATTENTION Of 



FCJA 14 April 1992 

MEMORANDUM THRU 

COMMANDER, XVIII AIRBORNE CORPS AND FORT BRAGG, 
FORT BRAGG, NC 28307-5000 

COMMANDER, 3D ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT, FORT BLISS, TX 
79916-0058 

FOR LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOHN H. DALY, JR. , -3-D- SQUADRON, 

3D ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT, FORT BLISS, TX 79916-0058 

SUBJECT: Memorandum of Reprimand 

1. It has come to my attention that while serving as Commander, 
3d Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment during Operation DESERT 
STORM, elements of your command conducted a combat assault on a 
neighboring airfield during the early morning hours of 

27 February 1991. During this assault, elements of Company C, 
54th Engineer Battalion, were engaged .resulting in the death of 
Corporal Lance Fielder. A review of the attached report of 
investigation reveals that you erred in judgment during the 
execution of your mission. 

2. After reviewing the report, I have a sound appreciation for 
the conditions at the time. It is my understanding that you were 
working with old maps, in bad weather, aad at night. I also 
realize that you were conducting maneuver operations along a 
Corps boundary, which is difficult under circumstances of precise 
friendly locations and high fidelity communication, circumstances 
not attendant to your situation. You were further challenged 
with severe sleep deprivation, having to conduct this complex 
operation as your first fire fight under night vision device 
conditions, receiving erroneous spot reports of incoming fire and 
accommodating to adjacent friendly forces with inadequate and 
non-operating anti-fratricide devices. 

3. Despite these extenuating conditions, I am unable to explain 
or excuse the death of Corporal Fielder as an unfortunate incident 
of war. The file reveals that you failed to give appropriate 
consideration to the fact that you had friendly units on your 
right flank and did not take reasonable steps to identify the 
elements you encountered before authorizing them to be engaged.. 



*3n<i, 



m- 






121 



FCJA 
SUBJECT: 



Memorandum of Reprimand 



4 . This reprimand is imposed as an administrative measure and 
not as punishment under the provisions of Article 15, UCMJ. You 
are directed to acknowledge receipt of this reprimand. You have 
30 days from the date of this Reprimand to make any statement you 
wish me to consider concerning this matter. I have not decided 
if this letter will be filed in your Official Military Personnel 
File. I will make that decision after receipt of your 
acknowledgment and a review of any statement that you may elect 
to make, or the lapse of thirty days without receipt of any 
statement, whichever is sooner. 




EDWIN H. BURBA, JR. 
General , USA 
Commanding General 



122 




DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY 

HEADOUARTERS FORCES COMMAND 
FORT MCPHERSON. GEORGIA 30330-6000 



(M 



Rf PIT TO 
ATTENTION OF 



FCJA 14 April 1992 

MEMORANDUM FOR Colonel Douglas H. Starr, Retired, 

69046 Stone Street, Richmond, MI 48062 

SUBJECT: Memorandum of Reprimand 

1. It has come to my attention that while serving as Commander, 
3d Armored Cavalry Regiment during Operation DESERT STORM, 
elements of your command conducted a combat assault on a 
neighboring airfield during the early morning hours of 

27 February 1991. During this assault, elements of Company C, 
54th Engineer Battalion, were engaged resulting in the death of 
Corporal Lance Fielder. A review of the attached report of 
investigation reveals that you erred in judgment during the 
execution of your mission. 

2. After reviewing the report, I have a sound appreciation for 
the conditions at the time. It is my understanding that the 3D 
Squadron, 3D Armored Cavalry Regiment was working with old maps, 
in bad weather, and at night. I also realize that they were 
conducting maneuver operations along a Corps boundary, which is 
difficult under circumstances of precise friendly locations and 
high fidelity communications, circumstances not attendant to 
their situation. They were further challenged with severe sleep 
deprivation, having to conduct this complex operation as their 
first fire fight under night vision device conditions, receiving 
erroneous spot reports of incoming fire and accommodating to 
adjacent friendly forces with inadequate and non-operating 
anti-fratricide devices. 

3. Despite these extenuating conditions, I am unable to conclude 
that the death of Corporal Fielder was the result' of an 
unfortunate incident of war. You exercised poor judgment by not 
having your staff insist on the receipt of more detailed 
information on adjacent units, ensuring subordinate receipt 
acknowledgement of information reference those units, and by the 
absence of your command presence not ensuring your subordinate 
commanders took appropriate safeguards to avoid such tragic 
results. 



Senmii remanent Subcommittee 
on Investigations 



123 



FCJA 
SUBJECT: 



Memorandum of Reprimand 



4. This reprimand is imposed as an administrative measure and 
not as punishment under the provisions of Article 15, UCMJ. You 
are directed to acknowledge receipt of this reprimand. You have 
30 days from the date of this Reprimand to make any statement you 
wish me to consider concerning this matter. I have not decided if 
this letter will be filed in your Official Military Personnel 
File. I will make that decision after receipt of your 
acknowledgment and a review of any statement that you may elect 
to make, or the lapse of thirty days without receipt of any 
statement, whichever is sooner. 




EDWIN H. BURBA, JR 
General, USA 
Commanding General 




92-497 0-95-5 



124 



Vrl- ■ • -. ' 

6 May 1992 



MEMORANDUM FOR General Edwin W. Burba, Jr. 

Commanding General, Forces Command 
Fort McPherson, Georgia 30330-6000 



SUBJECT: Acknowledgement of Receipt of and Statement regarding 
Memorandum of Reprimand dated 14 April 1992. 

1. I hereby acknowledge receipt of subject Memorandum and do, 
in fact, wish to make a statement regarding it, which is con- 
tained herein. 

2. As a combat arms officer for just short of 25 years, I have 
matured in a military service that has steadfastly embraced 
the precept that holds a commander "ultimately responsible for 
all his unit does or fails to do." While harsh and unequivo- 
cating, that precept underscores appropriately the fundamental 
responsibility for a command that the commander, and the 
commander alone, -shoulders. To that end, I have accepted and 
continue to accept full responsibility for the tragic circum- 
stances surrounding the attack on elements of Company c, 54th 
Engineer Battalion and the consequent death of Corporal Lance 
Fielder. 

3. Had, Sic, your Memorandum Of Reprimand, odious as I may have 
considered it as a soldier who considers such a document a per- 
sonal as well as a professional slap in the face, addressed my 
responsibility for the incident from the above overall command 
responsibility perspective, I would have had no choice but to 
quietly and bitterly accept it, just as all commanders must. 

But the Memorandum of Reprimand you signed on 14 April transcends 
that fundamental responsibility and makes three specific allega- 
tions that I, as well as all investigating officers that have 
plumbed the depths of this incident, feel are not factually 
correct and are simply not corroborated by the evidence or by 
testimony. These allegations will be addressed individually below. 

4. That I "exercised poor judgement" by "not having [my] staff 
insist on the receipt of more detailed information on adjacent units" 
The facts are that I made every conceivable effort to develop just 
such information - by radio, by TACSAT, by dispatching my own 
Command and control helicopter, through the artillery chain, and 

by means of utilizing the 1st Armored Division liaison officer in 
my TOC. "The voluminous testimony associated with my request of 
1st Armored Division for a five-kilometer buffer zone is all direct- 
ly predicated on 1st Armored Division's own concern over their in- 
ability to identify definitively the location of all units - in fact 
their direct concern that elements of theirs might conceivably be 
within that buffer zone and on my own knowledge 6C the fact' that 
no unit at that time could have done so either. I originally asked 
for the buffer zone to insure that this widespread and under- 



125 



standable lack of precision on subordinate unit locations would be 
appropriately accounted for in the attach. 1st »rmored Division's 

inability to grant that buffer i.one to my unit on two separate 

occasions reinforced my concern over the possible presence of 

friendly troops and directly led to my alteration of the attack 
plans, to include the artillery preparation. Given the time avail- 
able to me from receipt of orders to their execution, I used in 

most cases more than once every single means at my disposal to 

ascertain information on adjacent units and I did so throughout the 
time available. My inability to be confident of information on 
adjacent units was directly responsible for my decision to cancel 
any preparatory fires south of the 50 grid line and to alter the 
attack azimuth from a north-to-south to a west-to-east direction 
with the 50 grid line comprising the southern boundary of the attack 
by 3d Squadron. Absolutely nothing in the voluminous testimony even 
remotely suggests that friendly information was pursued in anything 
but the most vigorous manner. Even in calm and clinical retrospect, 
the information that was obtained was, in fact, accurate (that 1st 
Armored Division could not be sure that it did not have units with- 
in the requested five-kilometer buffer zone) and the information 
and orders disseminated to subordinate units duly excluded that zone 
from any use. Subordinate units were told that the requested 
buffer zone was twice denied and itJJ^hat very refusal that caused 
the changes in attack plans. Hypothetically , had the 1st Armored 
Division been able to state categorically that elements of Company C 
were in fact where they were later tragically ascertained to be, the 

attack graphics would have remained the same all that would have 

changed would have been a specific location for them disseminated 
to subordinate units and an accompanying specific reinforcement of 
the normal and well-understood disciplines regarding unit boundaries. 
The tragic error in this case is not in 1st Armored Division being 
unable to pinpoint every unit (no unit could have at that point 
and the Division responsibiltrby reflected that inability in their 
steadfast refusal of the buffer zone), .or in the intensity of 
3d Armored Cavalry's pursuit of information( information which we now 
know was simply not available regardless of how intensely it may 
have been pursued), but in the inability of the Regiment to properly 
recognize a friendly unit on the battlefield in time to prevent 
tragedy. 

5. That I "exercised poor judgment" by not "ensuring subordinate 
receipt acknowledgement of information reference those units." 
The facts are that virtually all information on the locations of 
friendly units, largely comprised of the knowledge that the possib- 
ility existed that 1st Armored Division forces might be in the 
previously-requested buffer zone, was passed to subordinate units 
as the very reason why the attack plans were being changed. No 
speculation onyfche existence of friendly troops was offered because 

that is precisely what it would have been speculation. Instead, 

subordinate units were told that the buffer zone was cancelled and 
the 50 grid line boundary was reinforced. I deemed the criticality 
of this information so vital that prior to the attack I took my 
Command Group, made up of four Bradley Fighting Vehicles, to the 



126 



location of the 3d Squadron CommandGroup and met with both 
LTC Paly and MAJ Martin. I,TC Feil and I went over the attack 
graphics with the 3/3 Command Group at that time along with the 
fact that 1st Armored Division had refused the Regiment's request 
for a buffer zone because of uncertainty over definitive subord- 
inate unit locations. This information was, of course, also sent 
by radio (FRAGORD) to the 3/3 TOC (as well as the rest of the 
Regiment) and receipted by that unit. My colocation and map 
comparison with the 3/3 Command Group stemmed from my concern over 
the change in plans and that it have been duly assimilated in the 
Squadron's attack plan. I again stress that the tragic error in 
this case is not in my ensuring receipt of what we knew of the 

friendly situation we knew very little indeed other than the 

only specifically pertinent fact: That the 50 grid line remained 
our boundary. To that end, I moved the Regimental Command Group 
to colocate with the Squadron Command Group before the attack 
to insure myself that the Squadron had all of the information 
available. Having had the 3/3 Commander brief me on how he in- 
tended to deploy his Squadron, and being satisfied with that, I 
directed that movement of the Regiment commence. Again, the tragic 
error is in failing to recognize a friendly unit on the battlefield 
in time to prevent tragedy. 

6. That, "by the absence of [my] command presence not ensuring 
[my] subordinate commanders took appropriate safeguards to avoid 
such tragic results." The facts are, as partially delineated 
above, I recognized exactly where my command presence was most 

needed and positioned myself there early-on first to go over 

first-hand with the executing commander the new plan and receive 
his concept of how he intended to implement tnat plan and then 
throughout the movement and the attack so as to maintain communi- 
cations with the attacking commander. I positioned my command 
group in the leading edge and to the left (north) of the attacking 
squadron so as to place myself in a position to both observe the 
attack personally and to ensure uninterrupted communications with 
the balance of the Regiment and with the Regimental TOC which, with 
its communications, was my link to higher headquarters. As the 
events of that night unfolded, my decision as to where to position 
myself was all too correct. I was less than a few kilometers from 
where the incident took place, could see the tracers, and received 
Squadron SITREPS throughout. Unfortunately my "command presence" 
was not enough to prevent the fateful events as they unfolded. I 
travelled with the unit, monitored a variety of their nets (Troops 
as well as Squadron) as we moved with my third radio, and watched 
what I could of their tactical movement given the very poor visibilf- 
ity. I neither saw nor heard any indication of "inappropriate 
safeguards to avoid ... tragic results." The unit was agile and 
smooth, aggresive while caut ious . . . They were a unit of well-trained 
young Americans going into battle for the first time. Again, I 
stress that the tragic error in this case is not where I placed 
myself on the battlefield but on the forces in contact failing to 
recognize a friendly unit quickly enough to prevent tragedy. 



127 



7. Again, Sir, I commanded the Regiment during the period in 
question and, as such, hold myself responsible for its actions 
and inactions ... but 1 <am categorically not guilty of the lapses 
in judgement with which you charge me... not guilty by virtue of 
careful review of the lengthy testimony, not guilty by careful 
review of my actions that night against the template of all that 
I know to be sound leadership, and not guilty based on the facts 
of the incident. 

8. I respectfully request your considered review of the case 

not of the executive summary or of the legal opinion but of the 

facts of this tragic case as presented by the investigating 
officer. They do not, even given the considerable media sensa- 
tionalism and the equally considerable pressures attendant to this 
heartbreaking case, substantiate the judgemental errors which you 
ascribe to me. 



9. I request 

rescinded since I 
factually incorrec 
situation is such, 
must be done," the 
written to me that 

happened the c 

suited in the trag 
That Memo, unlike 
factually and phil 
appropriate hard 



also respectfully that the 14 April Memo be 

know after your review you will find it both 
t and professionally inappropriate. If the 

as I am given to believe it is, that "something 
n I humbly ask that a letter of Reprimand be 

fixes responsibility on me for what really 
ommand of a unit that made a mistake which re- 
ic loss of life of a fine American trooper, 
this one, is substantiated by the testimony, 
osophically supportable, and professionally 
, but fair. 




128 




Swfc fwmwwm SotKomnlttM 

*• '"instigations 



DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY EXHIBIT *t 
HEADQUARTERS. 3D ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT 
FORT BLISS. TEXAS 7991S-241S 



«PLV TO 

ATTtNTioNor COMMANDER, THIRD SQUADRON 




26 MAY 1992 



MEMORANDUM THRU 

COMMANDER, 3D ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT, FORT BLISS, TX 
79916-0058 

COMMANDER, XVIII AIRBORNE CORPS AND FORT BRAGG. FORT BRAGG, 
NC 28307-5000 

FOR COMMANDER, FORCES COMMAND, FORT MCPHERSON. GA 30330-6000 



SUBJECT: Memorandum of Reprimand 

1. I am responding to your memorandum of reprimand, dated 
14 April 1092. 

2. I realize a commander is responsible for everything his 
unit does or fails to do. The purpose of this response is 
not to seek to escape from the responsibilities of command, 
but rather to ask that my actions be Judged in light of the 
facts and circumstances as we knew them at the time. There 
have been two investigations of this incident. The first 
was conducted immediately after and on the site of the 
incident. The second was conducted over a seven month 
period by a general officer. Both concluded that I did 
everything 'reasonable and appropriate, under the existing 
circumstances* to prevent any unnecessary loss of human 
life. 

3. Many of the reasons that argue against the imposition 

of any action against me in this matter are contained in the 
second paragraph of your memorandum of reprimand. There are 
additional facts that I ask you to consider as well. The 
general officer who conducted the investigation into the 
circumstances surrounding the events of 27 February 1991, 
Brigadier General Halley, pointed out these facts in 
recommending that 'all personnel involved be absolved of any 
criminal or administrative responsibility.* 

4. On a dark, rainy night when visibility was near zero, it 
was my Squadron's mission to conduct an attack against what 
we fully expected to be an airfield occupied by Iraqi 



129 



AFVF-KCDR 

SUBJECT; Memorandum of Reprimand 

forces. We had no reason to believe that the only forces we 
would find in this area were U.S forces. The intelligence 
we received indicated that we could expect to encounter up 
to a battalion of Iraqi soldiers, including the first belt 
of the Republican Guard. It is easy to lose sight of the 
fact that my Squadron was not the right flank Squadron until 
we were committed to the attack. Neither the First Squadron 
in our passage of lines coordination nor the Regiment gave 
me any indication there was anyone other than the enemy on 
or near my objective. Based on this information, we 
concluded, as did BG Halley, that the 'only prudent course 
of action to minimize potential U.S. casualties was to 
attack the airfield as if enemy was present.' 

5. Your memorandum specifically refers to two failures on 
my part, a failure to give appropriate consideration to the 
fact that I had friendly units on my right flank and a 
failure to take reasonable steps to identify the elements we 
encountered as friendly forces before we engaged them. 

A. First, there were no indications there were 
units directly on the Regiment's right flank. Neither 
the Regiment nor First Squadron had physical contact 
with 1st AD. Had such a contact been made. First 
Squadron would have sent scouts out to the flank to make 
contact, radio contact would have been established with 
the unit on the flank, or loss of contact would have 
been reported. I would have learned of any of these 
actions, had they occurred, during my passage of lines. 
The only information available to me indicated that 1st 
AD was somewhere to the south, to the right and rear 

of First Squadron. The discussions about the buffer 
zones never gave me any indication 1 that there were 
friendly units in our vicinity. 

B. Second, any suggestion of a failure to take 
responsible steps to identify the elements south of the 
airfield is contrary to the findings of the previous 
investigations. In the conclusions to his 
Investigation, BG Halley found that a warning shot was 
ordered and fired; that direct fire was not ordered 
until it was believed that we were being fired upon; 
that I stopped the attack, personally went to the 
scene, and ordered a PSYOPS team to broadcast a 
message; and that I only ordered a short burst to be 
fired when I thought 'the suspected Iraqis had returned 
fire, had rejected the chance to surrender, and were 
trying to escape or occupy fighting positions.' 
Commanders in the middle of a battle must not be 
expected to arrive at the same measures that a committee 
might arrive at after months of Btudy. 



130 



AFVF-KCDR 

SUBJECT: Memorandum of Reprimand 

In thia Instance, however, after more that a year to 
consider the facts, no one has presented any steps that 
we could have taken that night that would not have 
placed my own soldiers in serious Jeopardy considering 
the situation as we thought it to be. 

6. BG Halley found several reasons why the engineer unit 
involved was not identified by me or my soldiers. Perhaps 
the most telling factor was the absence of the USCENTCOM 
anti-fratricide devices on the engineer vehicles. The 
failure of the engineer personnel to wear Kevlar helmets or 
Load Bearing Equipment that would have been recognized 
through the thermal sights we were forced by the condition 
to use also contributed to this 'unfortunate* incident. The 
placement of an objective that crossed Corps boundaries 
obviously lead to the units coming together at this location 
in the first place. 

7. In spite of all these factors, I still believe that the 
steps we took with the information we had were the right 
ones. Even with the advantage of hindsight, BG Halley said, 
my actions and decisions 'were reasonable and appropriate 
under the existing circumstances.* We did not fire on any 
unit in the area until after we had fired a warning shot and 
had received a report of enemy fire from the vehicles of 
that unit. We used all resources available to us, including 
PSYOPS speakers , in an attempt to prevent the unnecessary 
loss of human life. In the final analysis, on 27 February 
1991 at an airfield inside enemy territory, I had to take 
steps to prevent what I thought would be anti-tank fire 
directed at my own soldiers. I considered the 
responsibility to protect the lives of- my soldiers a sacred 
trust that required my best efforts. .Even with that in 
mind, we violated no Army doctrine or Rules of Engagement. 

S. I respectfully request that you consider rescinding your 
memorandum of reprimand. In good conscience I feel that I 
must ask you to reconsider given the circumstances as we 
knew them. I believe that this tragedy was truly 'an 
unfortunate incident of war*. If you can not reach this 
conclusion given the additional comments in this letter, 
then I ask you to consider my past performance and potential 
for further service and file this in my Military Personnel 
Records Jacket. 



131 



AFVF-KCDR 

SUBJECT: Memorandum of Reprimand 



9. Nothing that can happen from this point on will prevent 
the deep sense of loss I feel as a result of fires from my 
vehicle that resulted in the death of an American soldier. 
I grieve for the friends and family of Corporal Fielder, and 
would do anything to be able to undo the events of 27 
February 1991. Because that is not possible, I will carry 
this burden forever. 




JOHN H. DALY 
LTC, ARMOR 
Commanding/ 



132 




Seur* 



DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY 

HEADQUARTERS, 3D ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMEN 
FORT BLISS. TEXAS 79916-2411 



fet;; 



Kti 







AFVF-C 



27 MAY 1992 



MEMORANDUM THBU 

COMMANDER. XVIII AIRBORNE CORPS AND FORT BRAGG, FORT BRAGG, 
NC 28307-5000 

FOR COMMANDER. FORCES COMMAND, FORT MCPHERSON. GA 30330-6000 



SUBJECT: Memorandum of Reprimand 

1. I have reviewed BG Hal ley' 8 report into the tragic 
incident involving LTC John Daly. Based upon the report's 
findings and my own knowledge of LTC Daly, I recommend that 
no permanent or adverse action be taken against this very 
promising squadron commander. 

2. In the 12 months that LTC Daly has served as a commander 
under my command, he has demonstrated all the personal and 
professional attributes which the Army requires in its 
senior leadership. I believe that LTC Daly is capable of 
major, continued contributions to our Army. 

3. I respectfully and strongly request that you not place 
your memorandum of reprimand in his Official Military 
Personnel File. 



"262*5 

ROBERT R. IV ANY 
COL. ARMOR 
Commanding 




133 



off investigations 




DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY EXHIBIT # 

HEADQUARTERS. XVIII AIRBORNE CORPS AND FORT BRAGG 
FORT BRAGG. NORTH CAROLINA 28307-5000 



nmrro 

ATTCMTIOM OF: 




AFZA-CG 



4 June 1992 



MEMORANDUM FOR Commander, Forces Command, Fort McPherson, GA 
30330-6000 

SUBJECT: Memorandum of Reprimand Concerning Lieutenant Colonel 
John H. Daly, Jr. 



1. Following a review of LTC Daly's statement and after con- 
siderable thought, I believe there are sufficient grounds to 
support his request. 

2. The circumstances surrounding most tragic events in combat 
do not always provide us with cut and dry answers. I feel this 
is the case here. To that end, and considering the totality 

of LTC Daly's contributions and potential for future service, 
I respectfully request you rescind the letter of reprimand. 
Should you not be able to support that course of action, I 
recommend the letter of reprimand not be filed in his official 
military personnel file. Regardless, I fully support whatever 
decision you make. 





flJCK 
Lieutenant General, USA 
Commanding 



134 



Sen."* re*»anen* iiiijcAiw-pjttM 

EMltR » 21 

Captain B. H. Friesen 

3112 Flax St. 
El Paso, Texas 79925 

21 June 1992 

MEMORANDUM FOR COMMANDER, FORCES COMMAND, FORT MCPHERSON, GEORGIA 
30330-6000 

SUBJECT: Statement Pertaining to Memorandum of Reprimand 

1. Reference Memorandum of Reprimand for Captain B. H. Friesen, 
from Commander, Forces Command, dated 14 April 1992, received 29 
May 1992. 

2. I strongly protest my receipt of a reprimand for alleged 
negligence on 27 February 1991 contributing to the fratricide 
death of Corporal Douglas Fielder. I request that it be revoked. 

3. Negligence is defined as "failure to use a reasonable amount 
of care when such failure results in injury or damage to 
another." I was not negligent at any time before, during or 
after the attack on the airfield. I and my unit acted respon- 
sibly and with care in all instances. 

4 . In light of the information provided to me by my superiors , I 
acted with extreme caution. My squadron commander, Lieutenant 
Colonel John Daly, neglected to inform me of the location of the 
corps boundary. He also told me that we would be the most for- 
ward friendly unit in the area and that the airfield we were at- 
tacking was defended by a dug in battalion of Iraqi soldiers. He 
made no mention of possible friendly forces in the area, or that 
the VII Corps was already 12 hours ahead of us. He stated that 
our objective was seven kilometers past «the forward line of 
friendly forces. 

This clearly indicated to me that we would not encounter friendly 
forces at any time during our operation. 

5. LTC Daly directed the use of a diamond assault formation to 
clear the airfield. This formation placed maximum tank firepower 
forward, with lighter scout vehicles securing the flanks. This 
formation had no reconnaissance force whatsoever to the front. 
Its sole purpose was to destroy confirmed enemy positions. Why 
did LTC Daly use this formation if he knew we were operating near 
a corps boundary with the possibility of friendly forces in the 
area? He sent his squadron on a blind attack into an area where 
he was uncertain of the situation. Scout platoons should have 
proceeded the squadron into the area. Failure to do so was a 
violation of basic tactical principles. Use of this formation 
confirmed in my mind that we would encounter heavy resistance by 
Iraqi forces on the airfield. 



135 



SUBJECT: Statement Pertaining to Memorandum of Reprimand 

6. My actions on the airfield itself were carefully thought out 
and correct in every respect. I did not engage until after LTC 
Daly had granted permission for me to do so. I then fired only 
warning shots, well away from the group of soldiers. Upon 
receiving returned small arms fire, I and two other vehicles from 
my troop briefly suppressed our opponents. We did not kill any 
soldiers from the engineer unit. LTC Daly himself fired the fa- 
tal shots after I had called cease fire several times over the 
troop radio net. My executive officer relayed this command over 
the sguadron radio net on each occasion. LTC Daly himself made 
several statements during the 15-6 investigation confirming that 

I gave this command. 

7. Although our thermal imaging systems presented a clear pic- 
ture, they could not differentiate colors. This made it impos- 
sible to recognize coalition markings on the engineer vehicles. 
The U.S. Central Command Anti-Fratricide SOP (dated December 
1990) provided night recognition signals. Unfortunately, this 
SOP was never available at our level throughout the entire war. 
We never even knew of its existence. Why did Central Command of- 
ficials not make sure that combat units actually received this 
important document, instead of just providing lip service to its 
existence? I and my unit were not able to adhere to a document 
we had never seen. 

8. My troop was not a independent unit, but part of the right 
flank of the assault formation. We were under LTC Daly's direct 
control at all times. Why did LTC Daly give me permission to 
fire warning shots when he knew that we were directly on the VII 
corps boundary? His doing so only added further credence to my 
belief that we were facing Iragis. He had a functioning global 
positioning system and was acutely aware of our location. Had I 
been informed of the boundary location, »I would have seen on my 
positioning system that I was close to it and forbidden any 
shooting. 

9. I ordered a cease fire because I believed that we had ex- 
pended the maximum amount of necessary force. The soldiers, who 
we still believed to be Iragis, no longer posed a threat. It was 
my intention to wait for their surrender. We had much heavier 
weapons at our disposal and could have destroyed the small group 
of soldiers in a matter of seconds. Our restraint and clear 
thinking prevented this. If LTC Daly had not disregarded and 
overridden my cease fire, Corporal Fielder would still be alive 
today. Fielder was assisting a fellow soldier to a safer loca- 
tion when LTC Daly shot him. I could see clearly in my thermal 
sights that neither soldier carried weapons and thus posed no 
threat. The soldiers also had no place to escape. Our vehicles 
surrounded them on flat terrain and could easily have outdis- 
tanced them. Shooting them was totally unjustified, even if they 
had been Iraqis. 



136 



SUBJECT: Statement Pertaining to Memorandum of Reprimand 

10. If LTC Daly and COL Starr had not withheld critical informa- 
tion about friendly force locations and unit boundaries from of- 
ficers at my level, this incident could have been avoided. 
Statements by both officers in the 15-6 investigation prove that 
they were aware of the boundary. COL Starr was acutely aware of 
friendly forces in the area. Why did they not share this infor- 
mation with their troop commanders? It would have radically 
changed my thought process and actions on the airfield. 

11. Statements by Lieutenant General Ronald Griffith (Commander, 
1st Armored Division) and Brigadier General John Hendrix 
(Assistant Division Commander) both clearly assert that they 
directed the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment to stay away from the 
corps boundary and airfield because there were friendly elements 
in the area. They also stated that the 1st Armored Division had 
cleared the airfield twelve hours earlier. Why were we sent to 
attack an airfield that had already been cleared? To this day, I 
still do not know from whom this attack order originated. 

12. CPT Wayne Sauer, a liaison officer assigned to 3rd ACR, 
stated in the 15-6 investigation that he coordinated with 1st Ar- 
mored Division to obtain a 5 kilometer buffer zone to attack the 
Umm Ha jul airfield. The 1st Armored Division denied this request 
because their 2nd Brigade trains were in the area. 1st Armored 
Division also stated that the airfield was already clear. CPT 
Sauer briefed LTC Michael Keenan (the 3rd ACR Executive Officer) 
on this information. LTC Keenan passed the information on to COL 
Starr. Why did this critical information never make it to my 
level? It would have had a very significant impact on my deci- 
sion to fire even a warning shot. If COL Starr ordered the at- 
tack on the airfield despite the 1st Armored Division's denial, 
then he is as directly responsible for Corporal Fielder's death 
as LTC Daly. I believe this to be the oase. 

13. COL Starr's entire conduct of this operation was poorly 
thought out and, in my opinion, and effort to claim credit for 
capturing an airfield. Why were there no contact and/ or coor- 
dination points along the corps boundary during this operation? 
I was the southern most troop commander, yet I received no coor- 
dination missions. This displayed extremely bad planning and 
disregard for even the most basic tactical principles on behalf 
of COL Starr and leaders in the 1st Armored Division. If we had 
been fighting a more determined foe, he would have split the 
corps boundary or wreaked havoc in the 1st Armored Division's 
rear area. As a troop commander, I had no control whatsoever 
over boundary coordination missions. These were decided at 
regimental level and higher. If COL Starr had done his job and 
ensured such coordination, this tragedy would not have occurred. 



137 



SUBJECT: Statement Pertaining to Memorandum of Reprimand 

14. Despite the fact that both COL Starr and LTC Daly were aware 
of the corps boundary, the 3rd Squadron's planned attack route 
swung south through the airfield and penetrated seven kilometers 
into VII Corps territory. If the squadron had carried out the 
attack in its entirety, it may well have destroyed a portion of 
the 2nd Brigade, 1st AD trains. Why did LTC Daly approve this 
route and disseminate it to his subordinates when he knew where 
the corps boundary was? Who developed this route? This person 
also holds a great deal of responsibility in this incident. 

15. It is crystal clear that both COL Starr and LTC Daly were 
aware of both the corps boundary and possibility of friendly 
forces in the area. Incongruously, they ordered and conducted a 
violent assault into the Umm Hajul area. I feel these were 
criminally negligent acts. My actions did not lead to Corporal 
Fielder's death. On the contrary, I did everything humanly pos- 
sible to prevent it. Repeated negligence and/or disregard by COL 
Starr, LTC Daly and possibly other officers beyond my purview of 
knowledge killed Lance Fielder. 

16. If I am to receive this reprimand, then I believe there are 
many more individuals more deserving of one. Foremost among them 
are: 

a) The staff officers who drew a corps boundary through 
the middle of an airfield that was a key objective, 

b) The leadership of both corps for not ensuring coor- 
dination along their flanks, 

c) The intelligence officers from whom the misinformation 
came about a dug in Iraqi battalion on the airfield 

d) The 1st Armored Division leadership for not conducting 
a proper flank guard operation on an exposed flank and 

e) The 3rd ACR leadership for not ensuring coordination 
along the corps boundary. 

17. The 15-6 investigation findings state that "the Regimental 
Commander and the Squadron Commander should have placed more 
emphasis on the proximity of the objective to the boundary, 
possible friendly forces in the area, why the buffer zone 
was denied, and why the attack plan was changed. Had the I 
Troop Commander been fully apprised of all the available in- 
formation, this regrettable incident could have been 
avoided." This corroborates everything I have already said. 






138 



SUBJECT: Statement Pertaining to Memorandum of Reprimand 

18. In conclusion, I maintain that I used a greater than 
reasonable amount of care during the operation against the air- 
field. My commander, LTC Daly fail to apprise me of information 
critical to my mission and fired the fatal shots from his 
vehicle. COL Starr negligently ordered an attack into an area he 
knew was occupied by friendly forces. They are the negligent 
parties responsible for this tragedy. My unit applied a minimum 
amount of force at all times commensurate with the information we 
received. I feel thoroughly betrayed by my superiors for not 
having apprised me of the most basic information I needed to con- 
duct operations. I should not pay for mistakes made by them. I 
trusted their instructions and they betrayed this trust. They 
did not ensure proper coordination and planning at their levels 
and I should not be held responsible for this. 

19. I would greatly appreciate information about your final 
decision regarding this reprimand. I will be at the letterhead 
address throughout my terminal leave and after my release from 
the service. 

Very Respectfully, 



/fi6~r 

HB. H. FRIESEN 
Captain, Armor 



139 



i«Wt« I'-wnmni Subcommittee 
da InwrJj^Uut* 

ewnr#_lii M 

FCJA-ML (FCJA/14 April 1992) (600-37) 1st End 
SUBJECT: Memorandum of Reprimand 

Commander, Forces Command, Fort McPherson, GA 30330-6000 22 Jul 92 

THRU Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, Department 
of the Army, Washington, DC 20310-0400 

FOR Commander, Military District of Washington, ATTN: ANPE-MP, 
Officer Records, 1900 Half Street S.W., Washington, DC 
20314-5050 

1. I have reviewed all documents pertinent to my decision to 
issue a memorandum of reprimand to LTC John H. Daly, Jr., 
currently in transit pursuant to his permanent change of station 
from Fort Bliss, TX to DAMO-FD, Pentagon, Washington, DC, 
formerly Commander, 3d Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment 
during Operation DESERT STORM. 

2. I have specifically considered, in making my determination, 
the statements submitted by LTC Daly (enclosure) . 

3. Based on my review and consideration, I direct that the 
memorandum of reprimand, dated 14 April 1992, issued to LTC Daly 
be filed in his military personnel records jacket for a period 
of one year, from the date that he reports to DAMO-FD. 




Encl EDWIN H..6URBA, JR. 

Added 1 encl General, USA 

as Commanding General 

CF: LTC John H. Daly 



140 



OKfi 






FCJA-ML (FCJA/14 April 1992) (600-37) 1st End 
SUBJECT: Memorandum of Reprimand 

Commander, Forces Command, Fort McPherson, GA 30330-6000 22 Jul 92 

FOR Captain B. H. Friesen, 3112 Flax Street, El Paso, Texas 
79925 



1. I have reviewed all documents pertinent to my decision to 
issue you a memorandum of reprimand. 

2. I have specifically considered, in making my determination, 
the very persuasive statement you submitted. 

3. Based on my review and consideration, the memorandum of 
reprimand, dated 14 April 1992, issued to you is hereby 
withdrawn. I consider this matter closed. 




EDWIN H. BURBA, JR 
General, USA 
Commanding General 




141 



Senate Permanent Subcommittee 
on Imostigstioai 



FCJA-ML (FCJA/14 April 1992) (600-37) 1st End 
SUBJECT: Memorandum of Reprimand 

Commander, Forces Command, Fort McPherson, GA 30330-6000 22 Jul 92 

FOR Colonel Douglas H. Starr, Retired, 69046 Stone Street, 
Richmond, MI 48062 

1. I have considered your persuasive arguments. 

2 . I still find your actions make you sufficiently culpable to 
warrant the reprimand standing; however, your reply provides 
additional extenuation and mitigation. Accordingly, the 
reprimand will not be placed in your military personnel file. 




SDWIN 

General , USA 
Commanding General 



142 



m< investigation 



EXHIBIT « 




DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE 

HEADQUARTERS. FORCES COMMAND 
FORT MCPHERSON. GA 303306000 




September 1, 1992 



Commander in Chief 



Ms. Debbie J. Shelton 
225 Peachtree Street 
Nashville, Tennessee 37210 

Dear Ms. Shelton: 

I am the general officer who had the responsibility to takeaction on the 
Incident which culminated in the tragic death of your son Lance during Operation 
DESERT STORM. I overruled the decisions of the investigating officers and the 
Chain of Command and issued official letters of reprimand to those I found 
negligent in the incidents surrounding the death of Lance. 

In July, after receiving rebuttal responses from those officers I found 
culpable, I wrote a long letter to you explaining the rationale for my final 
decisions. I thought it only fair to receive the culpable officers' responses prior 
to making my decisions and then writing to you. but this action delayed the 
process. The decisions were rendered in July shortly before the concentrated 
media coverage of the tragedy. Due to the timing and atmospherics at the time, 
I felt my letter to you would totally lack credibility and I elected not to send it. 

Now that the media attention has subsided, I feel obligated to express to 
you the Army's and my own deeply felt personal sorrow over the death of Lance. 
I know the personal hurt and anger caused by the unnecessary and untimely 
death of a loved one. Over twenty years ago, my father was killed while still on 
active duty in an Army aircraft that had not been properly refueled. It ran out of 
aviation gas and crashed while diverting to a secondary airfield during a 
thunderstorm. All the goodwill, sympathy, and corrective action will never bring 
him back nor, to this day, assuage my hurt and anger over how he died. I know 
you must feel the same way. 

I would just ask you to understand the Army is a large institution that, by 
the scope and complexity of its operations, periodically makes mistakes. As in 
no other occupation, these mistakes frequently translate into life and death 
consequences. However, the Army Is made up of good people that are trying to 
do what is right regardless of the circumstances. The squadron commander, 
although wrong, was trying to do what was right at the time of Lance's death and 
we have attempted to do what is right in the investigation and disciplinary action 
associated with this tragic incident. 



143 



I made the final decisions. They were tough calls and I can just My I 
think I have made the right ones after an exhaustive review ot the case. I haw 
spent many anguished days and nights thinking about it-its implications lor 
fairness, for deterrence of such future tragedies and the Army's obligation to mm 
battles and save lives in the next war. If there is more that you wish explained 
or if there la anything I can do to assist you in anyway, I would be happy to travel 
to your home to do it. 



Sincerely, 




Edwin H. Burba, Jr. 
General, U.S. Army 
Commander in Chief 




144 



Senate PefflMBMt Subcommittee 
on Investigations 

EXHIBIT # — 2k. 



Deborah J. Shelton 
225 Peachtree Straat 
Nashville, Tennessee 37210 
(CIS) 833-1925 



September 14, 1992 

General Edwin H. Burba, Jr 

Commander In Chief 
Headquarters, Forces Command 
Fort McPherson, GA 30330-6000 

Dear General Burba: 

I am In receipt of your letter dated September 1, 1992. l was 
aware of the fact that you overruled prior investigation and 
decisions, issuing written reprimands to the officers involved in 
my sons death. However, since I am not privy to their content, or 
the content of the responses by the officers Involved, any comment 
I could make regarding them would be uninformed and therefore I 
believe, Irrelevant. Please be advised I am very interested in 
their content and will be appreciative of any information you will 
share with me. 

General Burba, I have considerable empathy for you in the loss 
of your father. You see, I am an only child. My mother died in 
1984. I buried my father on September 4, 1992, after a long and 
painful illness where his grief in the loss of his only grandson 
accelerated the end of his life. I must tell you there is no 
comparison between the loss of a child and the loss of a parent 
no matter the circumstances. 1 suppose one must be a member of the 
elite bereaved parents club in order to understand the 
inappropr lateness of such comparisons. 

I understand your position very well, you are obviously in a 
very uncomfortable one to say the least. I also believe I 
understand the Army is a large institution and the complexity of 
its operation. I am a patriot in the truest sense of the word 
I reared my son in that patriotic tradition. Saving SGT Napier's 
life and rescuing SPEC Dribbin was the only thing Lance could have 
done. It was basic to him, not a valorous act. Had he lived and 
received accolades for it, I am sure his response would have been 
something like, "what's all the fuss about, Z was just doing my 
job?" We understood, given his MOS in war time, the possibility 
of Injury or death was high, and accidents are always a real 
possibility. We also understood the price of freedom is never paid 
in full. What we did not understand and I do not to this day 
understand is not accepting responsibility for a cowardly act. 



145 



The bottom line to me is this: LTC Daly opened fire on an 
unarmed man assisting a fellow comrade, while under a cease fire 
he acknowledges he disregarded. This is the act of a coward. 
Whether during war time or not, it is purely and simply murder. 
I do not presume to understand battle tactic. However, it seems 
to me when you open fire, you draw fire. Therefore this was a 
negligent act for a squadron commander. We were continually told 
during Operation Desert Storm "this is the humane war. We are 
saving lives wherever possible. All an Iraqi needs to do is lay 
down their weapons and they will be spared attack." Either LTC 
Daly never received these instructions or chose to disregard them. 

This is not in the finest tradition of military honor as 
taught in West Point or in training facilities throughout our 
country. Never-the-less if this is the way the U S Army intends 
to deal with cowardice; then step forward, acknowledge it and be 
responsible so the next group of young men and women the recruiters 
talk to will understand what to expect. 

, . xt is m y opinion that the basic "wrong" in this country is a 
lack of responsibility in our families, our communities and our 
government. Everyone expects rights and privileges. Along with 
them goes obligations and responsibilities. Until we all step 
forward and accept full responsibility for our actions, this great 
country of ours will continue to erode. 



Cordially, 
Deborah J. Shelton 



146 




*««* fmmrn Subewninittet 



DEPARTMENT 0^ THE ARMY 
OFFICE OF THE iNS°EC'QF< GENfcHAPMBn' <t_ 97 



1700 APt.'v PEN 1 AGO'.' 
WASHIMG'ON DC 20310 w 00 



4 August 1994 




MEMORANDUM FOR ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY FOR 

MANPOWER AND RESERVE AFFAIRS, ATTN: 
COL Hamilton 

SUBJECT: Revocation of Valorous Awards 



The enclosed preliminary analysis revealed 
valorous awards were presented to members of the 
3d Armored Cavalry Regiment for actions at Qalib Al 
Luhays airfield, Iraq, on February 27, 1991. 
The incident described in the recommendations for these 
awards was one of fratricide and did not involve 
contact with an armed enemy. 

In accordance with paragraph 6-6, Army 
Regulation 672-5-1, award of the "V* device for valor 
requires participation in an act of heroism involving 
conflict with an armed enemy. Therefore, request 
action be taken to revoke these awards . Note that the 
actions of these individuals may have been deserving of 
recognition other than a valorous award. Also, note 
that the award recommendation for Major David J. 
Bxadshaw includes mention of two incidents on the night 
of Pebruary 26-27, 1991. It is possible that Major 
Bradshaw met the criteria for a valorous award in an 
action other than the one at Qalib Al Luhays airfield. 

Further, re quest action be taken to identify and 
revoke similar valorous awards improperly authorized 
for the incident at Qalib Al Luhays airfield or other 
known fratricide incidents. 

Due to the sensitive nature of the enclosed 
report, please do not duplicate it or include it in any 
other record without further coordination with our 
records release office. Also, please provide this 
r e po rt adequate security and return it when no longer 
needed . 



FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY. DISSKKHOiTTON IS PROHIBITED 
EXCEPT AS AUTHORIZED BT AK 20-1. 



147 



-2- 



Pleaee inform us of the results of your action. 
Our point of contact is Colonel Charles Cogswell, (703) 
695-7385. 





R.' S. Siegfri 

Major GeneraM/u.S . Army 

Deputy The Inspector General 



Enclosure 



FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY. DXSSBCTKATXOH IS PROEXBXTXD 
EXCEPT AS AUTHORIZED BY AR 20-1. 



148 



SAIG-IN (20-lb) 22 July 1994 

MEMORANDUM THRU 
/ 





FOR U) 

SUBJECT: Alleged Impropriety by a Senior Official 



1. PURPOSE: To provide DTIG recommendations concerning an 
alleged impropriety by Major General (MG) Edison E. Scholes, 
Deputy Commanding General, Allied Land Forces Southeastern Europe 

(Formerly Deputy Commander, XVIIIth Airborne Corps and Fort 
Bragg, NC) . 

2. BACKGROUND: The General Accounting Office (GAO) informed the 
Department of the Army Inspector General (DAIG) that members of 
the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR) received valorous awards 
for participation in an action on 27 February 1951 at Qalib Al 
Luhays airfield, Iraq, during Operation Desert Storm. This 
action did not involve contact with an armed enemy. 
Investigations of that action have revealed that elements of the 
3rd ACR were operating out of their assigned boundaries when they 
fired on a friendly unit, killing one U.S. soldier and wounding 
two. 

3. EVIDENCE: 

a. Army Regulation (AR) 672-5-1, Military Awards, 
provided Army policy on awards and decorations. 

(1) Paragraph 2-15 authorized the award of the Bronze 
Star Medal (BSM) to any soldier who distinguished himself by 
heroic or meritorious achievement or service in connection 
with military operations against an armed enemy. 



FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY. DISSEMINATION IS PROHIBITED 
EXCEPT AS AUTHORIZED EY AR 20-1. 



149 



(2) Paragraph c-6 stated the "V" device was to be 
worn to denote "participation ir. acts of heroism involving 
conflict with an armed enemv." 



(3) Paragraph l-28a stated an award could be revoked 
by the awarding authority "if facts subsequently determined 
would have prevented original approval of the award had they 
been known at the time." In deciding to revoke an award, the 
awarding authority must consider comments from the individual 
concerned. Awarding authorities can refer decisions to the 
Commander, Total U.S. Army Personnel Command (PERSCOM) and 
individuals can appeal decisions to PERSCOK. ["££■ 1) 

b. Commander, U.S. Army Central Command (COMMUSARCENT) 
message, dated 221926z Jan 91, subject: Delegation of Wartime 
Award Approval Authority, delegated the authority to award the 
Bronze Star Medal to commanders in the rank of Major General 
or higher. (TAB 2) 

c. Headquarters (HQ) , XVIIIth Airborne Corps and 

Fort Bragg permanent orders # 83-67, dated 2 May 19S1, awarded 
the BSM with "V" device to Sergeant (SGT) Kenneth Shumate for 
"heroism involving conflict with an armed enemy" on 
27 February 1991. A review of the awards packet revealed: 

(1) The awards packet contained a Recommendation for 
Award (DA form 63 8) signed by Captain (CPT) Patrick J. 
Venezia, a statement by CPT Venezia, a narrative 
justification, an awards board worksheet signed by MG Scholes 
recommending approval, and a BSM certificate. 

(2) The proposed citation on the handwritten DA form 
638 stated SGT Shumate dismounted to take prisoners "in the 
face of hostile fire" and with "reported enemy fire and 
burning vehicles" to his front. SGT Shumate was also credited 
with saving the lives of at least 4 American soldiers. 

(3) The statement and supporting narrative clarify 
that, while SGT Shumate's unit originally thought they were in 
contact with the enemy, once on the ground SGT Shumate and 
CPT Venezia discovered that the reported enemy were, in fact, 
fellow U.S. soldiers. 



FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY. DISSEMINATION IS PROHIBITED 
EXCEPT AS AUTHORIZED BY AR 20-1. 

2 






150 



(4) According tc the DA form 638, the statement, and 
the narrative, these actions occurred at Qalib Al Luhays 
Airfield, Iraq, at C200, 27 February 1591. 

(5) The BSM certificate contained a generic 
description of SGT Shumate's accomplishments on 27 February 
1991 without referring to Qalib Al Luhays Airfield. (TAB 3) 

d. HQ, XVIIIth Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg permanent 
orders £ 83-106, dated 2 May 1991, awarded the BSM with "V" 
device to C?T Venezia. A review of the awards packet 
revealed: 

(1) The awards packet contained a handwritten 
DA form 638 signed by Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) John Daly, 
Commander, 3/3 ACR, a handwritten statement signed by 

Staff Sergeant (SSG) Diego Wolborsky, a handwritten statement 
signed by SGT Patrick P. Nelson, a handwritten narrative, a 
first endorsement recommending approval signed by 
Colonel (COL) Douglas Starr, Commander, 3rd ACR, an awards 
board worksheet signed by MG Scholes recommending approval, 
and a BSM certificate. 

(2) The proposed citation on the handwritten DA form 
638 stated CPT Venezia dismounted to take prisoners "in the 
face of hostile fire" and with "reported enemy fire and 
burning vehicles" to his., front. CPT Venezia was also credited 
with saving the lives of at least 4 American soldiers. 

(3) The two statements and supporting narrative 
clarify that, while CPT Venezia 's unit originally thought they 
were in contact with the enemy, once on the ground SGT Shumate 
and CPT Venezia discovered that the reported enemy were, in 
fact, fellow U.S. soldiers. 

(4) According to the DA form 638, the statement, and 
the narrative, these actions occurred at Qalib Al Luhays 
Airfield, Iraq, at C200, 27 February 1991. 

(5) The BSM certificate contained a generic 
description of CPT Venezia' s accomplishments on 27 February 
1991 without referring to Qalib Al Luhays Airfield. (TAB 4) 



FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY. DISSEMINATION IS PROHIBITED 

EXCEPT AS AUTHORIZED BY AR 20-1. 

3 



151 



e. HC\ XVIIIth Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg permanent 
orders £ 63-105, dated 2 Kay 1991, awarded the BSK with "V" 
device to CPT (now Major) David C. Bradshaw for "heroism 
involving conflict with an armed enemy" on 27 February 1991. 
A review of the awards packet revealed: 

(1) The awards packet contained a handwritten and 
unsigned DA form 638, a 1st endorsement recommending approval 
signed by COL Starr, a handwritten statement dated 3 May 1991 
with an illegible signature, an automated version of DA form 
636, a narrative justification, an awards board worksheet 
signed by KG Schoies recommending approval, and a BSM 
certificate . 

(2) The handwritten statement credited CPT Eradshaw 
with treating a wounded soldier on a medevac mission on 

27 February 1991 in the vicinity of the Al Bussayah Northeast 
airfield. The mission successfully extracted one soldier 
wounded in action and one killed in action. The statement 
makes no mention of enemy fire but does cite restricted 
visibility. The statement also alludes to a mission on 
26 February 1991 but does not mention CPT Bradshaw in 
connection with that incident. 

(3) The two DA form 638 's specify the location as Umm 
Hajal Airfield. 

(4) The computer generated DA form 638 cited 
CPT Bradshaw 's actions on 27 February 1991 in extracting 
wounded soldiers from the regimental front line area while the 
regiment was still "actively clearing the sector of enemy." 

(5) The narrative justification cited CPT Bradshaw 's 
participation on a medevac mission at 0430 hours on the 
morning of 26 February 1991. The narrative did not mention 
hostile fire but stated that the "regiment was still in 
contact and clearing small pockets of resistance" and that 
there was little or no ambient light and marginal weather 
conditions . 

(6) The awards board worksheet specified dates of 
17 Jan 91-7 Mar 91. 



for official use only. dissemination is prohibited 
except as authorized by ar 2G-i. 

4 



152 



(7) The ESM certificate ccr.tained a generic 
description cf C?7 Bradshaw s accomplishments en 27 February 
1991 without referring to Qalib Al Luhays Airfield. (TAB 5) 

f. SGT Shumate stated: 

(1) He received the BSM with "V" device in a ceremony 
in May 1991 at Fort Bliss, TX. He was part of a group of 
scldiers receiving recognition. He never saw the award 
recommendation and was not sure when he first knew he had beer, 
put in for the BSM with "V" device. 

(2) He was not aware of the provisions of AR 672-5-1 
that valorous awards required conflict with an armed enemy. 

(3) When he received the award, he thought it was for 
his overall performance while deployed as part of Operation 
Desert Storm. He was aware that other soldiers received the 
BSM for their overall performance. 

(4) The first time he really understood what the 
award was for was when he was contacted by a representative of 
the GAO last month. 

g. CPT Venezia stated: 

(1) He received- the BSM with "V" device in a ceremony 
at Fort Bragg, NC, in May 1991. 

(2) Within a day or two of 27 February 1991, he was 
told by LTC Daly that he had been recommended for the BSM with 
"V" for his actions at Qalib Al Luhays airfield. 

(3) He was not aware that conflict with an armed 
enemy was a prerequisite for valorous awards. 

(4) CFT Venezia felt the award was justified 
nonetheless because his unit had received fire believed to 
come from the enemy and it was dangerous to exit the command 
track. He felt that some of the wounded U.S. soldiers would 
have died if he had not organized a medevac . 



FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY. DISSEMINATION IS PROHIBITED 

EXCEPT AS AUTHORIZED BY AR 20-1. 

5 



153 



h. Major (MAJ) Bracshaw staiec: 

(1) He received the BSM with "V" device at Fort Bliss 
after his return from Operation Desert Storm. 

(2) He was generally aware that "combat" was a 
prerequisite for valorous awards. 

(3) Within 3 or 4 days after the 27th of February 
1SS1, he was aware that he had been put in for the 3SM with 
"V" device. He thought that COL Starr or the 3rd ACR 
Executive Officer had recommended him. He was surprised 
because he thought he was just doing his job. He did not 
protest because he learned that others on the medevac mission 
were to receive BSM or Army Commendation Medals (ARCOM) with 
"V" devices. 

(4) He understood that the award was for his actions 
on the night of 26-27 February 1991, not necessarily for the 
incident at the Qalib Al Luhay airfield. He recalled 
participating in two medevac missions that night but he was 
not sure if the Oalib Al Luhay mission was the first or the 
second. He said it was a very hectic and confusing night. 
The other mission was to evacuate wounded soldiers from a unit 
that was in contact with the enemy. During this mission, the 
helicopter received fire from Iraqi air defense. 

i. KAJ Benard J. Kulifay, JR, stated: 

(1) He was assigned as the Deputy Adjutant General 
(AG) of XVIIIth Airborne Corps and Fort 3ragg from June 1990 
to May 1993. The Corps AG during that time was COL Gary 
Gresh. 

(2) In the weeks after the ground war ended, the 
Corps AG shop received and processed thousands of award 
recommendations. There was a great deal of pressure from 
commanders to turn the awards around quickly. It was also 
hectic because the corps was in the midst of redeployment. 

(3) Upon receipt, award recommendations were screened 
by the award section consisting of a non-commissioned officer 
and a couple of clerks. They screened for administrative 
requirements and completeness. 

FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY. DISSEMINATION IS PROHIBITED 
EXCEPT AS AUTHORIZED BY AR 20-1. 

6 



154 



(4) Award recommendations that passed the 
administrative screening were sent to KG (then 3G) Scholes 
with a cover sheet . MG Scholes reviewed the packets and 
signed the cover sheet as approved or disapproved. He neither 
approved nor disapproved some packets but directed that they 
be sent back to the unit for additional justification. 

(5) Although the cover sheet was entitled "Awards 
Board Worksheet," no one else reviewed the recommendations. 
MG Scholes served as a one person board. Also, even though 
the cover sheet designated the action as a board 
"recommendation", in fact it was a final decision by 

MG Scholes. The recommendations went no further and action 
was taken based on MG Scholes' approval or disapproval of the 
award. 

(6) After approval by MG Scholes, the award packets 
were boxed up for return to Fort Bragg. The Corps AG shop 
closed on Fort Bragg by the second week in May 1991. Once 
back at Fort Bragg, appropriate orders were cut and award 
certificates were prepared. Most of the certificates were 
signed by auto-pen although the Corps commander, LTG Luck, 
may have personally signed a few. 

(7) Award recommendations received after redeployment 
were reviewed and voted on by a 3 person awards board 
consisting of MG Scholesv the Command Sergeant Major, and one 
other person. MAJ Kulifay could not recall the names of board 
members other than MG Scholes. Upon reviewing the award 
packets of SGT Shumate, CPT Venezia, and CPT Bradshaw, 

MAJ Kulifay concluded they had been processed in Saudi Arabia 
since the cover sheet did not include votes of board members 
other than MG Scholes. 

(6) MAJ Kulifay was generally aware that conflict 
with an armed enemy was a prerequisite for a valorous award. 
The only explanation he could provide for how these BSM with 
"V" devices were approved was that they were missed due to the 
sheer volume of recommendations processed during that time. 

j. COL Gresh stated: 

(I) He was the XVIIIth Airborne Corps AG 
from May 90 to Jul 93 . 

FOR OFFICIAL USE OKLY . DISSEMINATION IS PROHIBITED 

EXCEPT AS AUTHORIZED BY AR 20-1. 

7 



155 



(2) The corps was extremely careful to fellow 
established procedures en processing awards at the conclusion 
of Operation Desert Storm because it was an important and 
sensitive topic. There was no deviation from established 
procedures while they were deployed. 

(3) All BSM recommendations were screened by the 
awards branch and then went to a four man board. The board 
did not sit "en banc" but rather circulated the files between 
offices. Each board member voted and indicated his vote on a 
voting sheet. These sheets should still be on file at XYIIth 
Airborne Corps . 

(4) MG Scholes was the board president and the other 
members were COL (now BG) Akers, and the G2 and G4 of the 
Corps, whose names he could not recall. MG Scholes would have 
signed a sheet as the board president which was different than 
the sheet containing the votes of the board members. He was 
confident that MG Scholes did not function as a one member 
board and that the Corps Commander, GEN Luck, personally acted 
on every recommendation from the board. GEN Luck approved 
some awards, disapproved some, and even reconsidered and 
reversed himself on some actions. GEN Luck initialed the 
board recommendation worksheets to indicate he had seen them. 

[10 NOTE: The award packets originally obtained from XVIIlth 
Airborne Corps each included an "awards board worksheet" which 
contained the board recommendation and the signature of 
3G Scholes as the board president. There were no worksheets 
reflecting individual board members' votes or GEN Luck's 
initials. Based on COL Gresch ' s statement, XVIIlth Airborne 
Corps files were rechecked; however, no additional documents 
were found.] 

(5) MAJ Kulifay, the Deputy Corps AG and Chief of 
Personnel Actions, served as the board recorder and oversaw 
the award process and therefore was the best person to talk 
with concerning the procedures. MAJ Kulifay was much more 
involved with the awards process than he was and MAJ Kulifay 
was the one who took the packets to MG Scholes, answered 
questions about the recommendations, and retrieved the 
packet-s . He described MAJ Kulifay as an outstanding officer. 



FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY. DISSEMINATION IS PROHIBITED 
EXCEPT AS AUTHORIZED BY AR 20-1. 



156 



(6) He was knowledgeable of the requirement that 
valorous awards be based en conflict with an armed enemy. He 
could not explain how BSK with "V" devices could have been 
approved for other circumstances. At Corps, they did not know 
much about instances of- fratricide until after they had 
returned to Fort Bragg. He recalled the incident involving 
the 3rd ACR at the airfield being reported that night with 
casualties. At the time, he was under the impression that the 
incident had involved enemy contact as well as elements of the 
3rd ACR "accidentally" firing on other friendlies. 

(7) He took full responsibility for mistakes that may 
have been made and strongly recommended that the procedures of 
AR 672-5-1 be followed to revoke the awards. 

k. LTC Patricia A. Sigle, Chief, Military Awards Branch, 
The Adjutant General Directorate, PERSCOM, stated: 

(1) Army regulations do not require that commanders 
use a board to screen award recommendations. 

(2) Regulations do not specify the number of members 
for an awards board if a board is used. MG Scholes could have 
served as a one man awards board for XVIIIth Airborne Corps. 

(3) The Commanding General, XVIIIth Airborne Corps 
could not delegate approval authority to MG Scholes or anyone 
else . Award of the BSM would have required his personal 
approval even if MG Scholes had recommended approval. 

4. DISCUSSION: 

a. Since the commander of the 3rd ACR was a colonel, 
recommendations for the BSM would have had to have been 
forvarded to the Commanding General, XVIIIth Airborne Corps, 
for approval . MG Scholes could not have approved 
recommendations for the BSM because, at the time, he was not a 
Major General and not in command. Award of the BSM for 
members of the 3rd ACR required GEN Luck's approval. The 
delegation of approval authority and the award approval 
process did not distinguish between BSM and BSM with "V" 
device . 



FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY. DISSEMINATION IS PROHIBITED 

EXCEPT AS AUTHORIZED BY AR 20-1. 

S 



157 



b. Orders for the awards in question were HQ, XVIIIth 
Airborne Corps orders signed "For Tne Commander" and the HSM 
certificates bear GEN Luck's signature. Therefore, these 
awards were, for all intents and purposes, approved by 

GEN Luck. 

c. The statements of MAJ Kulifay and COL Gresch were at 
odds on how award recommendations were processed at Corps 
headquarters in Saudi Arabia. MAJ Kulifay 's explanation that 
MG Scholes served as a one man board and recommendations he 
approved did not have to go further was consistent with what 
the available documents indicated. COL Gresch acknowledged 
that MAJ Kulifay would be the best source of information on 
how the process worked. Therefore, MAJ Kulifay 's statement 
was presumed to be more accurate . 

d. The approval of award recommendations at Corps 
headquarters was understandably hectic given the field 
conditions, heavy workload, and impending redeployment. 
The process was expedited by having MG Scholes review the 
packets after only a preliminary screening by clerks. 

e. A careful reading of the award recommendations for 
CPT Venezia and SGT Shumate revealed that they were not in 
contact with an armed enemy. The recommendation for 

MAJ Bradshaw was not as clear since, on 27 February 1991, he 
was exposed to enemy fire on a mission other than the medevac 
at Qalib Al Luhay airfield. At the time he read these award 
recommendations, MG Scholes most likely did not have a full 
understanding of the events of 27 February 1991 at Qalib Al 
Luhay airfield. 

f. The combination of the above factors resulted in the 
approval of valorous awards for actions that did not involve 
conflict with an armed enemy. There was no evidence that any 
individual falsified information in the award recommendations. 
Likewise, there was no evidence that any individual approved a 
recommendation for a valorous award with the knowledge that 
the events described therein did not involve conflict with an 
armed enemy. 

g. Regardless of the fact that there may have been no 
personal impropriety in the approval of these awards, the 
presentation of valorous awards to soldiers who did not meet 

FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY. DISSEMINATION IS PROHIBITED 

EXCEPT AS AUTHORIZED BY AR 20-1. 

10 



158 



the basic criteria was wrong. It lessened the value cf 
valorous awards earned by fully deserving soldiers. In this 
case, it was a slap in the face to the survivors of the 
friendly fire incident and the family cf the deceased soldier. 
The actions of MAJ Bradshaw, CPT Venezia, and SGT Shumate may 
have been deserving of some recognition, but not the BSM with 
"V" device . 

5. CONCLUSIONS: 

a. The allegation MG Scholes improperly approved valorous 
awards of the BSM was not substantiated. 

b. The valorous awards of CPT Venezia and SGT Shumate 
should be revoked in accordance with paragraph l-28a, 

AR 672-5-1. The valorous award of MAJ Bradshaw should be 
reviewed for possible revocation as well. 

6. OTHER MATTERS: There were indications of a systemic 
problem in the approval of valorous awards for acts not 
involving conflict with an armed enemy. For example, the 
following members of I Troop, 3rd Squadron, 3rd ACR, received 
Army Commendation (ARCOM) Medals with "V" devices for the 
incident at Qalib Al Luhays Airfield on 27 February 1991: 

Corporal Mark Valentine 
Private First Class Patrick C. Gilmore 
Private Derek Joseph 
Specialist Christopher A. Kardman 
(TAB 6) 

7 . RECOMMENDATIONS : 

a. DAIG not investigate. 

b. File as a miscellaneous action. 

c. The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and 
Reserve Affairs (ASA M&RA) be requested to take appropriate 
action to: 

(1) Revoke the valorous awards identified in this 
preliminary analysis. 

FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY. DISSEMINATION IS PROHIBITED 

EXCEPT AS AUTHORIZED BY AR 20-1. 

11 



159 



(2) Identify and revoke other valorous awards 
improperly authorized for the incident at Qaiib Al Luhays 
Airfield or ether known fratricide incidents during Operation 
Desert Storm. 

d. A copy of this preliminary analysis be approved for 
release to the ASA (M&RA) . 




Colonel, IG 
Investiaator 



APPROVED 



<rfa 

j 



DISAPPROVED 



SEE ME 




R! S. SIEGFRIED 

Major GeneiAli USA 

Deputy The Inspector General 



FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY. DISSEMINATION IS PROHIBITED 
EXCEPT AS AUTHORIZED BY AR 20-1. 





160 



... r . ? c :t ftL US'- v ; ' 

ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE 

4000 DEFENSE PENTAGON 
WASHINGTON. DC 20301-4000 

FORCE^NAGO^NT J^ 2 5 1995 

Mr. Richard C. Stiener 
Director, Office of Special Investigations 
U.S. General Accounting Office 
Washington, DC 20548 

Dear Mr. Stiener 

This is the Department of Defense response to the General Accounting Office (GAO) 
final report. GAO/OSI -95-10, "OPERATION DESERT STORM: Investigation of a U.S. Army 
Fratricide Incident" (GAO Code 600279/OSD Case 9913). In addition to the report 
recommendations, the response also addresses two specific issues raised by Senator Roth in his 
May 24, 1995, letter to this office. 

It is the Department's position that the GAO report is essentially accurate and mirrors to a 
large extent the Army's investigation. The final Army report of investigation contains 
essentially the same evidence as was used by the GAO in preparing its report, with the exception 
of the audio tape provided to the GAO investigators. Further, with the exception of the issue of 
the awards presented to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment personnel, the Commanding 
General, Forces Command, generally reached the same conclusions cited in the GAO report. 

It is also important to note that issues raised concerning deficiencies present in both the 
initial and subsequent investigations were identified by Army senior leadership and corrected 
prior to any decision being made on the incident 

The enclosed response contains information not normally released under the Privacy Act 
and/or Freedom of Information Act and should not be released outside the GAO. 



Sincerely, 




.*f 



Enclosures: 
As stated 



/,* 



$ ena tr i ■- rmmr 

OR OFFICIAL USE 0/. L EXm« 30 



© 



161 



GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FINAL REPORT - GAO/OSI-95-1 
(GAO CODE 600279) OSD CASE 9913 

"OPERATION DESERT STORM: INVESTIGATION OF A 
U.S. ARMY FRATRICIDE INCIDENT" 

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE COMMENTS 

RECOMMENDATIONS 



RECOMMENDATION 1 : The GAO recommended that the 
Secretary of the Army reexamine, for appropriateness, 
the disciplinary actions taken regarding the fratricide 
incident and the disposition of those actions. (p. 6, 
p.93/GAO Final Report) 

POD RESPONSE: Concur. Four officers involved in the 
fratricide incident received some form of 
administrative disciplinary action from the FORSCOM 
Commander: Colonel (retired) Douglas Starr, Lieutenant 
Colonel John Daly, former Captain B.H. Friesen, and 
former First Lieutenant Kevin Wessels. The first three 
officers received General Officer Memoranda of 
Reprimand. First Lieutenant Wessels received a General 
Officer Memorandum of Admonishment, not filed in his 
military personnel files. 

In accordance with Army policy, the memoranda of 
reprimand were referred to the three officers for their 
comments prior to a decision whether the reprimands 
should be filed in official military personnel files. 
After considering the officers' comments, the FORSCOM 
Commander withdrew Captain Friesen' s reprimand, 
determined not to file Colonel Starr's reprimand in his 
military personnel files, and filed Lieutenant Colonel 
Daly's reprimand in his military personnel records 
jacket for a period of one year from the date he 
reported to his job at the Office of the Deputy Chief 
of Staff for Operations and Plans, HQDA. 

Of these four officers, only Lieutenant Colonel Daly 
remains in the Active Army. Colonel Starr voluntarily 
retired and the other two officers voluntarily resigned 
their commissions. Colonel Daly, whose actions were 
the focus of much of the criticism in the GAO report, 
is currently assigned to Headquarters, Department of 
the Army, and is therefore within the court-martial 
jurisdiction of the Commander, Military District of 
Washington (MDW) . 



162 

FOR OFV* ;1 " 

-2- 



A copy of the GAO report and the prior Army 
investigations have been forwarded to the Commander, 
MDW for review and determination as to whether any 
further action is appropriate. This action is in 
accordance with Rule for Courts-Martial 306(b) 
contained in the Manual for Courts-Martial, United 
States, 1984, as most recently amended by Executive 
Order 12888, December 23, 1993. That rule provides 
that allegations of offenses should be disposed of at 
the lowest appropriate level by a commander with 
authority to direct disposition of the allegations. 
Until any action taken by the Commander, MDW, has been 
finalized, it would be inappropriate for the Secretary 
of the Army, as head of the Department of the Army, to 
review the appropriateness of any disciplinary actions 
taken against Lieutenant Colonel Daly. Although we 
cannot be specific as to when the Commander, MDW will 
complete his review, the Army anticipates that a 
decision will be made by September 1, 1995. 

RECOMMENDATION 2: The GAO recommended that the 
Secretary of the Army follow up on the Army Office of 
the Inspector General request that improperly supported 
awards for participation in fratricide incidents be 
revoked. (p. 6, p. 9 3 /GAO Final Report) 

POD RESPONSE: Concur. On April 18, 1995 the Army 
revoked the awards for valor issued to the seven 
recipients identified in the Army Office of the 
Inspector General (DAIG) report on the fratricide 
incident. The awards were revoked because they had 
been awarded for acts not involving conflict with an 
armed enemy. On the same date, awards were ordered for 
non-valorous achievement. On May 5, 1995, those awards 
also were revoked by direction of the Secretary of the 
Army pending further review. At that time, the 
Secretary announced that he would make the final 
decision on any award recommendations based on that 
review. 

The Army is also reviewing all awards received by 
service members involved in fratricide incidents during 
Desert Shield/Storm to determine the propriety of those 
awards. Because award approval authority during a 
wartime environment is, for the most part, 
decentralized, records must be gathered from the files 
of various commands, both Active and Reserve. This 
process will take some time. The target date for 
completion of the preliminary review of Army files is 
August 1 , 1995. 



•OR OFFICIAL USE QUi 



163 



-3- 



It should be noted that the Army delegated the 
authority to approve awards to field commanders during 
Desert Storm. When such authority is delegated in the 
future, guidance concerning friendly fire incidents 
will be included and emphasized with the delegation. 



ISSUE 1 : Application of Army policy to this case. 

POD RESPONSE: The Army's policy regarding non-criminal 
investigations is contained in AR 15-6, Procedure for 
Investigating Officers and Boards of Officers. The 
Army agrees with the GAO conclusion that there were 
deficiencies in the initial and subsequent 
investigations into this case. Although required by 
AR 15-6, the initial investigating officer did not 
conduct a complete and thorough investigation and the 
supplemental investigating officer's findings and 
recommendations were not supported by available 
evidence uncovered during the investigations. 

The review process contained in AR 1 5-6 led to the 
identification of these deficiencies by Headquarters, 
Department of the Army, and senior Army leaders. This 
review process was, however, unnecessarily long and 
laborious. After identifying these deficiencies, the 
FORSCOM Commander ultimately was able to obtain the 
best available evidence and information regarding the 
incident. Based on the recommendation of his Staff 
Judge Advocate, the initial findings and 
recommendations were modified and approved by the 
FORSCOM Commander. 

ISSUE 2: Adequacy of Army policy regarding 
non-criminal investigations including authority to 
initiate, selection of investigating officers, and 
investigative review procedures. 

POD RESPONSE: Army policy, contained in AR 15-6, is 
intended to ensure that non-criminal investigations are 
appropriately conducted. As a result of this 
investigation, the Army is taking a harder look at the 
overall investigative process contained in that 
regulation with a view towards re-energizing commanders 
on the overall process. Commanders need to be more 
aware of the investigative process and, in particular, 
of the need to seek legal advice early on. 



"•\r pc 



164 



-4- 



Currently, AR 15-6 is undergoing revision as a result 
of lessons learned in the field, including lessons 
learned from this and other serious incidents. Several 
changes under consideration would mandate practices 
already in widespread use throughout the Army (as 
illustrated in this case), such as close staff judge 
advocate involvement in all complex investigations, 
referral of investigations directly involving a 
commander to the next higher level of command for 
action, and establishing additional criteria for 
selection of mature and experienced investigating 
officers . 



165 



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DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY 

l! S. TOTAL ARMY PERSONNEL COMMAND 
ALEXANDRIA, VA 

22332-0471 



KIH.TTO 
ATTltfTloK o* 




PERMANENT ORDERS 18 0-11 



29 June 1995 



Following 1 order is revoked or rescinded as shown. 

Action: Revoke 

So much of: Permanent Order 91-42, U.S. Total Army Personnel 
Command, Alexandria, Virginia 22332-0471, dared 30 May 1991 
Pertaining to: Award of the Bronze star Medal, with "V" device 

to FIELDER, DOUGLAS L. 415-90-9294, SGT, C Company, 54th 
Engineer Battalion, APO New York 09026 
Authority: AR 600-8-22 
Format: 705 



BY ORDER OF TEE SECRETARY OF THE A5 



DISTRIBUTION : 

Next of Kin (1) 

NPRC (1) 

Files (3) 




?ETER G. 
KAJ, GS 
chief. Military Awards Branch 



OW'B/T 






168 




REPLY TO 
ATTENTION Of 



DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY 

U.S. TOTAL ARMY PERSONNEL COMMAND 

ALEXANDRIA, VA 

22332-0471 



PERMANENT ORDERS 18 0-10 




29 June 1995 



FIELDER, DOUGLAS L. 415-90-9294 SGT Company C, 54th Engineer 
Battalion, APO New York 09026 

Announcement is made of the following award. 

Award: Soldiers Medal (Posthumous) 

Date(s) or period of service: 27 February 1991 

Authority: Paragraph 3-12, AR 600-3-22 

Reason: For heroism 

Format: 320 



BY ORDER OF THE SECRETAR* OF THE ARMY: 



DISTRIBUTION: 
Next of Kin (1) 
NPRC (1) 
Files (3) 




DAGNES 
HAJ, GS 

Chief, Military Awards Branch 



Sfctrts Pwmaneirt Subcommittee 

9- IliSiigatXMS 



169 




DEPARTMENT Of THE ARMY 

U.S. TOTAL ABMY PERSONNEL COMMAND 

. ALEXANDRIA, V A 

22332-0471 



wovrm 

insinoM of 




PERMANENT 'ORDERS 181-4 

Following Order -is revoked or rescinded as shown. 



3 June 199 5 



Action: Revoke 

So much of i Permanent Order 83-112, Headquarters, XVin Airborne 
Corps and Fort Bragg, Fort Bragg, North Carolina 
28307-5000 dated 2 May 1991 
Pertaining to: Award of the Bronze Star Medal, to DALY, JOHN K. 
Jr. 552-88-3186, LTC, HHT, 3d BN, 3d Armored 
Cavalry Regiment, Fort Bliss, Texas 79916 
Authority: AR 600-8-22 
Format: 705 



BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY 



DISTRIBUTION: 

WC Daly {l) 

TAPC-MSR (1) 

Files (3) 




KAJ, GS 

Chief, Military Awards Branch 



EXHIFvii 6 5*/ 



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COMMITTEE ON 
GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS 

WASHINGTON. DC 20510-6250 



July 11, 1995 



The Honorable Sara E. Lister 
Assistant Secretary for Manpower 

and Reserve Affairs 
Department of the Army 
The Pentagon 
Washington, D.C. 20310 

Dear Secretary Lister: 

This letter follows up on several matters that arose during 
the Army's June 29, 1995 testimony before the Permanent 
Subcommittee on Investigations at a hearing concerning the 
friendly fire death of Sergeant D. Lance Fielder. 

During the hearing, the Subcommittee requested the prompt 
resolution of several outstanding issues. The Army indicated in 
each instance that it would take action on those issues 
expeditiously. So that we are kept informed of the progress made 
on each issue, the Subcommittee hereby requests that the Army 
provide it with the following information and documentation: 

A copy of the letter to Mr. Kevin J. wessels retracting and 
apologizing for the April 14, 1992 letter of admonishment 
that he received from General Edwin H. Burba. 

Documentation regarding the withdrawal of the Bronze Star 
Medal with "V" device that was awarded to Sergeant Fielder, 
and documentation awarding him the Soldier's Medal. 

Written confirmation that the Army has corrected Sergeant 
Fielder's headstone to reflect accurately the awards he has 
received. 

Documentation regarding the Secretary of the Army's final 
decision on the revocation of the three Bronze Star Medals 
and four Army Commendation Medals awarded to soldiers who 
were present during the friendly fire incident. 

Regarding Lt. Col. John H. Daly, Jr., the Subcommittee 
inquired about two additional matters for which we would like to 
receive prompt information: 



171 



The Honorable Sara E. Lister 
Page 2 



Any action taken on the Bronze Star Medal awarded to Lt. 
Col. Daly on May 2, 1991. 

Any disciplinary action taken or recommended against Lt. 
Col. Daly. 



Please provide the requested information and documentation 
to Harold Damelin, the Subcommittee's Staff Director and Chief 
Counsel. You may contact him at (202) 224-3721 to coordinate 
this request. 

Thank you for your prompt attention to this request. 

Sincerely, 





wTlliam V. Rotfi> Jr. 
Chairman 

Permanent Subcommittee 
on Investigations 




; /A~- 



ate 



172 




DEPARTMENT OF THE AHMY 

US TOTAL ARMY PERSONNEL COMMAND 
ALEXANDRIA, VA 

22332-0471 



ATmmoM o* 




PERMANENT ORDERS 194-1 

Following Order is revoked or rescinded as shown. 



13 July 1995 



Action: Revoke 

So much of: Permanent order 502-11, Headquarters, xvtii Airborne 
Corps and Fort Bragg, Fort Bragg, North Carolina 
28307-5000 dated IS March 1991 

Pertaining to: Award of the Bronze Star Medal with "V" device, 
(3d Oak Leaf Cluster) to STARS, DOUGLAS H. 
401-58-7437, COL, hht, 3d bn, 3d Armored Cavalry 
Regiment, Fort Bragg, North Carolina 28307 

Authority: AR 600-8-22 

Format: 70S 



BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF THE 



DISTRIBUTION: 

COL STARR (1) 

ARPERCEN (1) 

Files (3) 




MAT, CS 

Chief, Military Awards Branch 



M* hnect 
EXHIBlf *J2&0 



173 




ATTIWTIOWOF 



DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY 

OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY 

MANPOWER AND RESERVE AFFAIRS 

111 ARMY PENTAGON 

WASHINGTON OC 20310-0111 




July 13, 1995 Senate r> r>;r.tnl SftaMnmittev 

■*■ iwmOysfym 
Mr. Kevin J. Wessels -_ 

14725 Portland Avenue, #1 1 8 £XHiafi ' * — =2Z 

Bumsville, MN 55306 

Dear Mr. Wessels, 

The final report by the Government Accounting Office and the 

"Army's finding's with regard to the fratricide incident or 26Teb"ruary 1 990 " 

in Iraq have convinced me that the letter of admonishment served upon 
you by Commander, FORSCOM was not justified. All evidence indicates 
that your actions that night to protect your soldiers were commendable. 

On the behalf of the Secretary of the Army, I would like to 
apologize for any pain or embarrassment the letter has caused. I regret 
that it has taken so long to correct what is now so apparently wrong. 
General Griffith told me you were a fine soldier who did your duty well. 
The Army misses your service. 

I have provided General Burba a copy of this letter. 

Sincerely, 

Sara E. Lister 
Assistant Secretary of the Army 
(Manpower and Reserve Affairs) 



174 




DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY 

OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY 

MANPOWER ANO RESERVE AFFAIRS 

111 ARMY PENTAGON 

WASHINGTON DC 20310-0111 

July 24, 1995 . 




Honorable William V. Roth 

Chairman, Senate Permanent Subcommittee 

on Investigations 
United States Senate 
Washington, DC 20510 

Dear Mr Chairman: 



This letter serves as an interim response to your correspondence of July 11, 
1995, requesting information and accompanying documentation of actions taken 
by the United States Army following the Senate Hearing into the friendly fire death 
of Sergeant D Lance Fielder. 

I have sent a personal letter of apology to Mr Kevin J Wessels 
apologizing for the April 14, 1992, letter of admonishment that he received from 
General Edwin H. Burba. A copy of this letter is attached at TAB A. 

The Army immediately withdrew the Bronze Star Medal with "V" device 
awarded to Sergeant Fielder Sergeant Fielder's family was awarded his Soldier's 
Medal at a presentation ceremony held in Memphis, Tennessee, on July 13, 1995 
Command Sergeant Major Richard B. Cayton, US. Army Forces Command, and 
Command Sergeant Major, 1st Armored Division during Operation Desert Storm 
(Sergeant Fielder's unit), presented the award. Copies of the award actions are 
attached at TAB B 

On June 30, 1995, the Secretary of the Army, the Honorable Togo D 
West, Jr , revoked the Bronze Star awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Daly 
Additionally, Mr West directed revocation of the Bronze Star with "V" device 
awarded to Colonel (Retired) Douglas H. Starr, Commander of the 3d Armored 
Cavalry Regiment at the time of the incident. This revocation was effective on 
July 13, 1995. Copies of these orders are attached at TAB C. 

The Department of Veterans Affairs is currently preparing a new headstone 
for the grave of Sergeant Fielder We have coordinated with Mrs. Harris to ensure 
that the wording is to her satisfaction and accurately reflects the awards Sergeant 
Fielder received. The headstone should be in place by August 1, 1995. 



Senate Permarsnt Subcommittee 
on liwestigations 

EXHIBIT * 3S 



175 



-2- 



I will notify you of the Secretary of the Army-s final decision on the 
revocation of the three Bronze Star Medals and four Army Commendation Medals 
awarded to soldiers who were present during the friendly fire incident and on any 
disciplinary action taken or recommended against Lieutenant Colonel Daly 



If I may be of further assistance, please let me know. 

Sincerely, 



I 



Sara E. Lister 
Assistant Secretary of the Army 
(Manpower and Reserve Affairs) 



usQ. 



Enclosures 



176 




DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY 

UNITED STATES ARMY TRIAL. DEFENSE SERVICE 

OFFICE OF THE REGIONAL. DEFENSE COUNSEL. 

FORT GEORGE S. MEADE, MARYLAND 207SS 



August 10, 1995 



Trial Defense 
Service 



Mr. Harold Damelin 

Chief Counsel and Staff Director 

Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations 

Committee on Governmental Affairs 

United States Senate 

Washington, DC 20510-6250 

Dear Mr. Damelin: 

Enclosed is a corrected copy of the transcript of Lieutenant 
Colonel John H. Daly's testimony before the Permanent Subcommittee 
on Investigations of the United States Senate Committee on 
Governmental Affairs regarding the investigation of a friendly 
fire incident in the Persian Gulf War. Corrections have been made 
on the transcript in red ink as you requested in your letter of 
July 11 to Lieutenant Colonel Daly. Also enclosed are 21 pages of 
material for insertion in the record. Each page for insertion 
includes a reference to the page and line number of the transcript 
where it should be placed; the transcript has also been marked to 
indicate where insertions for the record should be placed. 

We request a copy of the corrected transcript with the 
material inserted for the record when it has been completed. If 
possible, please send us a copy of the complete Senate report when 
it is completed. If you have questions or require additional 
information, please contact me. 

Sincerely, 



<^m,h 




James P. Gerstenlauer 
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. 
Regional Defense Counsel 



Army 



Copy Furnished: 
Lieutenant Colonel Daly 



$m ^ name* s+rmaM* 
-■••— »•* " _3j 



177 



THE INVESTIGATION OF A FRIENDLY FIRE INCIDENT DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR 
June 29, 1995 



However, I am currently on a list with only my name on it. That list is held in abeyance 
pending completion of 3 promotion review board. 



•# -'^astigations 



EW«T# ^ 



178 



THE INVESTIGATION OF A FRIENDLY FIRE INCIDENT DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR 
June 29, 1995 



A review of the AR 1 5-6 testimony shows that the information on triendlies in the area was 
limited to the Regimental Staff and above. Neither LTC Hardy, Commander of the First 
Squadron, nor LTC Rowan, the Regimental Fire Support Battalion Commander, nor my 
staff (who were also listening to the Regimental Command Radio Net), nor I knew of 
triendlies in the area. This was not localized to something I had tailed to pass on. It was 
something that neither my peers nor subordinates understood from listening to the 
Regimental radio nets. 



Scr.-'.-: ?*,-,flafl«nt Sfifcawrwrthe 

W l9Ws%':-,.y 
EXHIBIT # 3^fe 



179 



THE INVESTIGATION OF A FRIENDLY FIRE INCIDENT DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR 
June 29, 1995 



The buffer zone discussion makes a great deal of sense if the two units are 
side by side or if the 1st AD is in front of the 3 ACR because it would 
have better separated the two units and lessened the chances of what 
happened occurring. However, if viewed from the way I thought we were 
arrayed, with 3 ACR well to the front, it does not make sense. It seemed 
to be an academic discussion without relevance to our situation since stray 
rounds would have fallen in empty desert or in enemy held territory. 



Senate P-snnmnt ^ ****< 

Oft Iga W Baflto 



rrt»<»r p 



33.c_— 



180 



THE INVESTIGATION OF A FRIENDLY FIRE INCIDENT DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR 
June 29, 1995 



The key point to remember is that we believed that the Iraqis had the 
American-made M-548 in their arsenal. My initial statement on 28 
February 1991 indicates that I thought the Iraqis had obtained the M- 
548 through the foreign military sales program (FMS), whereby we the 
United States sell military equipment to foreign governments. The 
GAO report at page 41 corroborates that the Regiment had intelligence 
reports indicating that the Iraqis had vehicles which looked similar to the 
M-S48 in their inventory. In the context of the war and the numerous 
missions we were given, the M-548 did not seem out of place. 
However, I have consistently stated that when we joined I Troop we 
were confronted with a burning building. At that point, we did not 
believe there was a vehicle of any kind, just a burning building. 



Sewte Permanent Subcommittee 
w in augjrtwut 



181 



THE INVESTIGATION OF A FRIENDLY FIRE INCIDENT DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR 
June 29, 1995 



Although I have not been provided with all the testimony gathered by either the GAO or 
the Army, a review of the testimony provided by the Army of the other Troop 
Commanders' and of my staff reveals that with the exception of CPT Friesen and CPT 
Offen, we understood the mission. The orders had been disseminated to the Troop 
Commanders. 



Senate Permanent Subcommittee 
on Investigations 

EXHIBIT * Sfije. 



182 



THE INVESTIGATION OF A FRIENDLY FIRE INCIDENT DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR 
June 29. 1995 



For the record, I have repeatedly asked for this information. Written 
requestes were made to the GAO: 

in November 1994, 

on February 3, 1995, 

on June 5, 1995, 

on June 15, 1995, and 

on June 26, 1995. 
Written requests were also made of Department of the Array: 

on June 6, 1995 and 

on June 26, 1995. 
Additionally, numerous personal and telephonic requests were made 
to both agencies. And, requests were made to this Committee for 
assistance in obtaining the needed documents from the GAO. 






3<T"f 



183 



THE INVESTIGATION OF A FRIENDLY FIRE INCIDENT DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR 
June 29, 1995 



(Page 99 and 101 of the GAO Report) 



&iw'<» ?e/r)anant Subcommittee 
an investigations 



ew; 



?rr# 3^ a 



184 



THE INVESTIGATION OF A FRIENDLY FIRE INCIDENT DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR 
June 29, 1995 



The GAO timeline is documented at page 31 of their report. Although it purports to be 
very specific, it, too, is only an estimate because it is based on the tape recording. The 
transcript of that recording indicates the tape recorder was turned off or placed on pause 
for several indeterminate periods of time (GAO report page 94). The GAO report at page 
94 also indicates that the tape recording was edited. 



Sr^'-j Ffmaneirt SubcommittM 
jo m»cc'jsuom 



f iWBIT # 



3?4__ 



185 



THE INVESTIGATION OF A FRIENDLY FIRE INCIDENT DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR 
June 29, 1995 



A "net" is short for a network of people using radios to talk to one another. Captain 
Friesen operated or ran a troop network which consisted of his subordinates. And he 
listened to a squadron net which consisted of my subordinates. 



S«wt« remanent Subcommittee 
on investigations 

EXHIBIT g 39/ 



186 



THE INVESTIGATION OF A FRIENDLY FIRE INCIDENT DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR 
June 29, 1995 



(Page 98 of the GAO Report) 



on fc- - 3t i pti« tt 



187 



THE INVESTIGATION OF A FRIENDLY FIRE INCIDENT DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR 
June 29. 1995 



Refer to GAO Report on page 61 where the GAO establishes that CPT Friesen's testimony 
that the warning shots were fired at a 45 degree angle, was inconsistent with the testimony 
of the engineers whom he fired upon. 



M ''IVSSUjItJoos 



188 



THE INVESTIGATION OF A FRIENDLY FIRE INCIDENT DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR 
June 29, 1995 



Sir, you stated that I moved south and that I knew of the 
boundary. We moved south and south of the boundary at the direction 
of the Regimental Commander who sent both I Troop and lateT me into 
the fenced-in area to determine what was there. I obtained his 
permission to fire warning shots to the south. I viewed this as a new task 
as well as a continuation of the previous mission. 

You also slated that I knew 1st AD was to the south. I knew in 
general terms that 1st AD was to the south. We did not know their 
exact location but did not suspect that they were in this immediate 
vicinity. We had previously been told to attack an airfield with a 
battalion of dug in Iraqi in the area. My Intelligence Officer repeatedly 
asked the Regiment for the enemy situation and repeatedly was told that 
there were expected enemy in the area. This can be confirmed by his 
testimony to BG Halley as well as by Major Martin's testimony to both 
BG Halley and the GAO. Both LTC Hardy, Commander of 1st 
Squadron, and LTC Rowan, Commander of Regiment's support 
artillery battalion, confirm in their testimony that we did not know of 
friendlies in the area and also expected the enemy to be present 

You also stated that I had identified an .American made vehicle. 
The presence of an American made vehicle is being cited as a clear 
indication that there were Americans not Iraqis in the area. This is 
WTong. The Iraqis had, to our knowledge at the time, US equipment in 
their inventory. The GAO report states the Regiment had the 
intelligence reports that there were American made vehicles in the Iraqi 
inventory. Whether they were obtained through the Foreign Military 
Sales program or through second party sales , our intelligence reports 
told us that this equipment was present. The presence of an American 
made vehicle was consistent with the presence of Iraqi troops. And, we 
did not identify them as Americans until after the fatal shots were fired 
per the testimony to Army investigators by Sergeants Ruch and Hunt. 

You said that I did not get an assessment from CPT Friesen. As 
stated earlier, I asked CPT Friesen for situation reports. The GAO tape 
shows on page 98 of the GAO report that I had asked for CPT 
Friesen's "situation reports"' or in by terms "his assessment." This was 
a request for him to tell me what was going on; to provide his 
assessment. Even the GAO concludes on page 41 that I was asking for 
reports. 

You stated that I had been told not to fire until we confirmed the 
enemy. Whether COL Starr told me twice to confirm that the 

combatants to our front were enemy or not,. we took more than prudent j^.? 'prmornr.;: SiibiSHT.S: 
steps to confirm their status and to allow rhem to surrender. Warning on Investigations 



ESfiS 



■r * 



3_9L— - 



189 



THE INVESTIGATION OF A FRIENDLY FIRE rNCFDENT DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR 
June 29, 1995 

shots were fired (although the GAO concluded at pages 61-62 that CPT 
Friesen fired at the vehicle), time was allowed to elapse, and tapes 
asking them to give up were played. This is far more than was normally 
being done elsewhere in either XVIII Corps or in V"Q Corps. We were 
not there as policemen; we were soldiers at war in an area that we 
believed had a dug in battalion of Iraqi that we had not yet seen. One 
can minimize the threat of one or two dismounted soldiers on the 
ground until that soldier uses a hand held missile to destroy one of the 
our vehicles. Sergeant Wolborski's testimony and Major Martin's 
clearly show that we believed this was possible. My obligation to my 
soldiers required me to protect them; I could not wait to act against what 
we believed were hostile enemy soldiers until after they destroyed our 
vehicles or killed our soldiers. 



190 



THE INVESTIGATION OF A FRIENDLY FIRE INCIDENT DURrNGTHE PERSIAN GULF WAR 
June 29, 1995 



Sir. you stated that CPT Friesen was not asked for an 
assessment of the situation. As stated earlier, I asked CPT Friesen for 
situation reports. The GAO tape shows on page 98 of the GAO report 
that I had asked for CPT Friesen's "situation reports" or in lay terms 
"his assessment." And, the GAO on page 41 of their report came to the 
same conclusion. This was a request for him to tell me what was going 
on; to provide his assessment 

You state that CPT Friesen did not know we were coming. On 
page 62 of his testimony to the GAO, CPT Friesen stated that he knew 
we were coming forward. Although he later contradicts this testimony, 
had he been listening to the Squadron Command net he would have 
known we were moving forward to his position. Upon receiving the 
order from the Regimental Commander to go down to I Troop's 
location inside the fence as the Regimental Commander had previously 
directed, at a minimum I had a radio conversation with my S3 and with 
the other elements of the "command group." I did not want to take the 
entire 5 or 6 vehicles with me as I expected that we would continue the 
attack to the east as soon as we had checked out this fenced in area. 
On the Squadron command net, I told them to stay in place while I 
went south and I received an acknowledgment from the rest of the 
"command group." My Fire Support Officer's testimony and my 
Operations Officer's (S3's) testimonies confirm this. CPT Friesen 
would have heard this series of conversations on the squadron 
command net. As explained, he was required to be listening to this net 
This was on the radio he states in the GAO report that he turned off. 

CPT Friesen has also stated that he almost shot me. However, 
he did not shoot if for no other reason than he was able to correctly 
identify my two M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles. He would have also 
violated the cease fire I imposed on my subordinates per the GAO 
report tape transcript. 

You state that CPT Friesen almost shot the two men who 
dismounted. CPT Friesen did not fire because he was able to identify 
these two soldiers as American from the equipment they were wearing. 
This is something that the various testimonies of those at the scene say- 
was not possible with the Engineers because they were not all wearing 
this equipment Although the reports differ, in the case of CPT 
Friesen not shooting the two observers from my vehicle it is clear that 
he did not shoot because he identified them as Americans coming from 
my vehicles. 

tXH18IT# 39nr> 



191 



THE INVESTIGATION OF A FRIENDLY FIRE INCIDENT DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR 
June 29, 1995 



I also need to clarify the perception that I just wanted to "pump a few rounds" I 
understand his perception but he was not in a position to observe what was going on in my 
turret or on the Squadron Command Radio nets. A review of the testimony to Army 
investigators of my staff and others in better positions to observe me paint a far different 
and more accurate picture of my caution and hesitancy to fire. 






lo'r.rr 



39, 



192 



THE INVESTIGATION OF A FRIENDLY FIRE INCIDENT DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR 
June 29, 1995 



There seems to be some confusion over why the wearing of the helmets is 
critical. It is because of the distinctive shape of the U. S. helmet. Its shape 
would have been easier to identify. Note the two shapes: 





U. S. Kevlar 
Helmet 



Iraqi 

Helmet 



Senate Permanent Suocommitte* 
en tnvestigatuiK 



EXHIBIT # 



^J&GL. 



193 



THE INVESTIGATION OF A FRIENDLY FIRE INCIDENT DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR 
June 29, 1995 



CPT Fricscn in his statement to the GAO, which was reluctantly provided 
to me the night before this hearing, said that he was also concerned about 
the dismounted "enemy" troops having anti-tank weapons. This concern 
was considered valid by all of us as a single soldier with an anti-tank 
weapon at close range could destroy one of our vehicles and loll several of 
our men before we could stop him. This was a self-protection issue for us. 






] f 



194 



THE INVESTIGATION OF A FRIENDLY FIRE INCIDENT DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR 
lune 19. 1995 



Although CPT Friesen told you today he had everything under control, 
his sworn statement to the Army Investigators said that he was worried 
about dismounted enemy troops and the remainder of the Iraqi battalion 
that was supposed to be in the area. This was confirmed by SSG Ruch. 
But, after the warning shots were fired according to page 100 of the 
GAO Report, Black 6 (CPT Friesen) says "Blue, pump a couple of 
rounds into that building. There's still some guys in there." Even after 
the fatal shots were fired, CPT Friesen was concerned about the troops 
on the ground as enemy and directed "Blue'' to move behind the 
building and u go after those guys." Page 105 of the GAO Report 



Senate Penman:), Subcommittee 
m 'instigations 

EXHIBIT #_,39g_ 



195 



THE INVESTIGATION OF A FRIENDLY FIRE INCIDENT DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR 
June 29. 1995 



The premise that it was under control is incorrect. We had what 
appeared to be excessive firing; we now know CPT Friesen turned off his 
radio because of the confusion; we can see from the G AO Report tape 
transcript a fair amount of undisciplined radio chatter in CPT Friesen' s 
Troop; and we have warning shots that ignited "the building" So, from 
this perspective, it does not appear that CPT Friesen had everything under 
control. 



^'<utt /»eroiai W 



a-<' 



icxommittee 



196 



THE INVESTIGATION OF A FRIENDLY FIRE INCIDENT DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR 
June 29. 1995 



There is nothing remarkable about the presentation dates being the same 
Large organizations, both civilian and military, often try to hold awards 
ceremonies at one time to recognize the deserving in front of their peers 
and associates. This ceremony was no different in that awards were 
presented to numerous people for a variety of reasons. The significant 
dates are the ones on the award certificates and orders which indicate 
whether the award was given for a particular day and event or for a 
period of time. In fact, people familiar with the awards process would 
recognize that CPT Venezia's award was presented for his personal 
heroism on 27 February. This is in contrast to my award which was 
presented for a period of service from October 1990 to March 1991. 
Our awards certificates reflected this distinction. 



**n PenttNKM iuKommrtt* 
on 'niesugations 



197 



THE INVESTIGATION OF A FRIENDLY FIRE INCIDENT DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR 
June 29, W5 



There were five people on my Bradley Fighting Vehicle: 
CPT Vcnezia (observer); 
SGT Shumate (observer), 
SGT Nelson (driver), 
SSG Wolborski (gunner), 
and me (vehicle commander). 



an lB«stJ|itww 
EXHIBIT 4 _3uX 



198 



GAO 



United States 

General Accounting Office 

Washington, D.C. 20548 



Office of Special Investigations 



August 18, 1995 

The Honorable William V. Roth, Jr. 
Chairman, Permanent Subcommittee 

on Investigations 
Committee on Governmental Affairs 
United States Senate 

Dear Mr. Chairman: 

During the June 29, 1995, hearing before the Subcommittee concerning events 
leading to a Persian Gulf War fratricide incident and the resulting U.S. Army 
investigations. Senator Fred Thompson requested GAO to submit for the record 
our recommendation as to how these kinds of investigations sbould be 
conducted in the future. However, in her statement to the Subcommittee at the 
hearing, the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), 
Ms. Sara E. Lister, noted that the regulation governing these investigations. 
Army Regulation (AR) 15-6, is "currently under review" and that "the Army 
will ensure that a revised AR 15-6 gives Commanders even clearer guidelines 
to follow in such investigations to ensure the problems identified in this case 
are not repeated." 

We believe it would be appropriate for the Army to complete its review and 
revisions, as indicated by Assistant Secretary Lister, before we evaluate the 
matter. Given the Subcommittee's and the Army's attention to this situation, 
we arc hopeful that the procedures established by the revised AR 15-6 will 
ensure that future investigations arc conducted properly. We will continue to 
monitor the Army's progress and will coordinate our assessment of the 
revisions with your staff as appropriate. 



Sincerely yours. 




Richard C. Sticncr 
Director 



Senate ' 

r»HIB!T * *fO 



).ii.T-;!tef 



199 




MW.VTO 

ATTOmOMOf 



DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY 

OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY 

MANPOWER AND RESERVE AFFAIRS 

111 ARMY PENTAGON 

WASHINGTON DC 20310-0111 

August 28, 1995 




Honorable William V. Roth 

Chairman, Senate Permanent Subcommittee 

on Investigations 
United States Senate 
Washington, DC 20510 

Dear Mr. Chairman: 

This serves as a follow up to my July 24, 1995, letter in response to 
questions posed by the Subcommittee on Investigations as result of the Senate 
Hearing into the friendly fire death of Sergeant D. Lance Fielder. 

The Commanding General, Military District of Washington, 
Major General F. A. Gorden, issued an administrative reprimand to LTC Daly on 
July 19, 1995, for providing misleading information in an award recommendation 
for a subordinate involved in the friendly fire incident and for failing to exercise 
the necessary leadership and professional Integrity expected of senior military 
officers in the United States Army. Major General Gorden has directed filing of 
the memorandum of reprimand in LTC Daly's official military personnel file. 

This information is not normally made available to the public under the 
provisions of the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts. It is released to the 
Committee on Governmental Affairs pursuant to its oversight responsibilities. 
We ask that it not be further released, and that access be limited to those with 
an official need to know. 

I will notify you of final actions taken to resolve any other outstanding 
issues in this case as soon they are completed. 

If I can be of further assistance, please let me know. 

Sincerely, 

Sara E. Lister 
Assistant Secretary of the Army 
(Manpower and Reserve Affairs) *"*fc 

* nmwaton 



•WtM 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 

200 llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 

3 9999 05984 352 2 




DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY 

OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY 

MANPOWER ANO RESERVE AFFAIRS 

111 ARMY PENTAGON 

WASHINGTON DC 20310-0111 



August 28, 1995 



Honorable Fred Thompson 
United States Senate 
Washington, DC 20510 

Dear Senator Thompson: 

This serves as a follow up to my July 24, 1995, letter in response to 
questions posed by the Subcommittee on Investigations as result of the Senate 
Hearing into the friendly fire death of Sergeant D. Lance Fielder. 

The Commanding General, Military District of Washington, 
Major General F. A. Gorden, issued an administrative reprimand to LTC Daly on 
July 19, 1995, for providing misleading information in an award recommendation 
for a subordinate involved in the friendly fire incident and for failing to exercise 
the necessary leadership and professional Integrity expected of senior military 
officers in the United States Army. Major General Gorden has directed filing of 
the memorandum of reprimand in LTC Daly's official military personnel file. 

This information is not normally made available to the public under the 
provisions of the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts. It is released to the 
Committee on Governmental Affairs pursuant to its oversight responsibilities. 
We ask that it not be further released, and that access be limited to those with 
an official need to know. 

I will notify you of final actions taken to resolve any other outstanding 
issues in this case as soon they are completed. 

If I can be of further assistance, please let me know. 

Sincerely, 

Sara E. Lister 
Assistant Secretary of the Army 
(Manpower and Reserve Affairs) 







201 



iaiah 1 1 " ■ . U ' r>ninit«e« 

v i" • '■'..►.ri'.r. 



Ii«WSSiE 



""-ESSE* " hw«« • W3. 

United States Senate 



WASHINGTON. DC 20510-4204 



September 20, 1995 



The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. 
Secretary- 
Department of the Army 
The Pentagon 
Washington, D.C. 20310 

Dear Secretary West : 

I am writing to express my serious concern about the Army's 
handling of a disciplinary matter related to the friendly fire 
death of Sergeant D. Lance Fielder. 

On Friday, September 7, I received a letter from Assistant 
Secretary of the Army Sara Lister indicating that Major General 
F.A. Gorden of the Military District of Washington had issued an 
administrative reprimand to Lieutenant Colonel John H. Daly for 
conduct related to the incident and its aftermath. A copy of 
that letter is enclosed. In her letter, Secretary Lister 
indicated that the memorandum of reprimand will be made part of 
Lt . Col. Daly's official military personnel file. 

As I am sure you are aware, the General Accounting Office 
and the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs' Permanent 
Subcommittee on Investigations (the "PSI Subcommittee") have both 
conducted exhaustive investigations of the circumstances 
surrounding Sgt . Fielder's death and the events that occurred 
afterwards. Both of those investigations yielded a good deal of 
information that has not been disputed by any of the participants 
in the incident . 

Both the GAO and the PSI Subcommittee found that, during the 
incident, Lt . Col. Daly failed to exercise proper command and 
control over his troops. Specifically, the facts showed that 
Daly violated a cease fire and the stated Rules of Engagement in 
the area by firing upon the engineers of the VII Corps, 1st 
Armored Division. 

After the incident, Lt . Col. Daly attempted to engage in a 
cover-up by asking subordinates to maintain silence about the 
facts as they occurred on the battlefield. In addition, Daly 
provided inaccurate factual material to superiors to support the 
awarding of medals for actions taken during the friendly fire 



202 



incident . Finally, at the Governmental Affairs Subcommittee 
hearing on June 29, Daly claimed not to be aware that his own 
medal was awarded at least in part for actions taken during the 
friendly fire incident. 

Taken together, the investigative record provides strong 
evidence that Lt . Col. Daly at the very least acted negligently 
during the incident and with dishonesty afterwards. I am sure 
you would agree that such conduct is not suitable for an officer 
in the United States Army. Despite this evidence, it would 
appear that Major General Gorden has delivered no more than a 
slap on the wrist. 

Given the importance of this case to the Fielder family and 
to the Army's credibility as an institution, I ask that you take 
personal responsibility for this disciplinary action. 
Specifically, I ask that you provide to me, in writing, the 
disciplinary options, as set out in Army regulations, that were 
available to Gen. Gorden, and the reasons why the option selected 
is in your view the appropriate one. In addition, I ask that you 
provide me with any response to the action that Lt. Col. Daly may 
have submitted to General Gorden. 



At the PSI Subcommittee's June 29 hearing. Secretary Lister 
and Army Vice Chief of Staff General Griffith committed on the 
record and under oath to provide this information in an expedited 
fashion. Therefore, I would appreciate your prompt attention to 
my request. Thank you. 



FDT : cmcm 
Enclosure 




finff)^ 



„mp£ 

Sta/^s Senftor 



cc: Senator William V. Roth, Jr. 



o 



ISBN 0-16-052096-7 




9 780 



60"520969 



90000